A dominant running game and resurgent pass rush carried the Baltimore Ravens past the New York Giants, 27-13, on Sunday. And a little help from their friends in New York and Pittsburgh finally got them into the projected playoff field.
With the Ravens’ fourth straight win, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets’ upset of the Cleveland Browns, there’s a clear Week 17 mandate: Win, and the Ravens (10-5) are in.
Jackson went 17-for-26 for 183 yards and two touchdowns and added 80 yards rushing, continuing a stretch of play that offensive coordinator Greg Roman had said was among the NFL’s best.
Running back Gus Edwards finished with 15 carries for 85 yards and rookie J.K. Dobbins added 11 carries for 77 yards as the Ravens ran for 249 yards, their third time in four games finishing with at least 230 on the ground.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant’s 8-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter capped the Ravens’ scoring in a game that was low on drama. Even with an unproductive second half for their streaking offense, the Ravens kept the Giants at bay, sacking quarterback Daniel Jones six times and holding the offense to 269 yards.
Inside linebacker Chris Board was their pass-rush star, finishing with two sacks. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, meanwhile, had a team-high six catches for 76 yards.
The Ravens could have hardly scripted a better first half. They scored on all four possessions, including a last-second field goal after a two-minute-drill drive that extended their lead to 20-6.
On offense, the Ravens mostly did as they pleased. The Giants defense, the toughest of the four the Ravens have faced in their winning streak, couldn’t stop the Ravens’ designed runs or Jackson’s improvised scampers.
Their pass rush wasn’t any more impressive against the Ravens’ fortified offensive line. Jackson had all day to find wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown for a 6-yard touchdown on the Ravens’ opening possession. On their next drive, Jackson had 7.4 seconds in the pocket before running for 18 yards himself, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats.
By halftime, the Ravens had outgained the Giants 282-95 and held the ball for over 22 minutes, a clear path to victory ahead of them. But the playoff picture was coming into focus around them.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter: The Ravens once again took care of business with their win over the Giants and finished their game just in time to head to the locker room to monitor the status of Jets-Browns and Steelers-Colts, two games with massive playoff implications for them. With both the Jets and Steelers winning, the Ravens are in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot. There are some things to clean up on the defensive side in terms of penalty but the most important thing at this point is getting into the dance.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: It was no surprise that the Ravens beat a woeful Giants team. The real surprises came outside Baltimore. After two weeks of unfavorable results around the AFC, the Ravens got what they needed — more than they needed, actually, with losses by both the Colts and Browns. Not long ago, it wasn’t inconceivable that they could end the season with 11 wins and out of the playoffs. Now they’re another favorable weekend away from the fifth seed.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens were the best team in the AFC on Sunday afternoon. They ran at will against one of the most imposing defensive fronts in the league in a display reminiscent of their best games from 2019. It was a highlight performance for the Ravens’ offensive line, which had to find its form on the fly this season. Quarterback Lamar Jackson operated from a comfortable pocket all afternoon, and running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards consistently found lanes. On defense, the Ravens again won with pressure, betting correctly that their thin secondary would hold up. Cornerback Anthony Averett has done a terrific job filling in for Marcus Peters. Rookie defensive tackle Justin Madubuike has grown into a sturdy run defender and formidable pass rusher in recent weeks.