The New York Giants control their own destiny, guaranteeing at least a Wild Card berth if they win their final two games. While that sounds refreshing, the Giants have to go out there and get the job done this Sunday. If the Giants lose to the Baltimore Ravens, they can be eliminated from playoff contention.
The Giants are eliminated from the playoffs if they lose this Sunday to the Ravens, in addition to the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks all winning on Sunday. This is very well possible, as the Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys play the New Orleans Saints and the Seahawks play at home against the San Francisco 49ers.
Head coach Tom Coughlin has gotten the message across to his team that they control their own destiny. The Giants couldn’t be playing the Ravens at a better time. The Ravens have lost three straight, with two of those coming at home. The Ravens’ defense is decimated with injuries, so the Giants’ offense needs to take advantage.
There are a couple of things the Giants need to stick to in order to win. As I mentioned several times during the course of the season, the Giants’ defense actually plays better when their secondary is playing well. They absolutely need to go with a three-safety look, even if the Ravens love to pound the ball with RB Ray Rice and RB Bernard Pierce.
The Giants have an opportunity to create turnovers this Sunday against Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco, who isn’t playing well. The Giants cannot be slow or blow coverage. It remains uncertain if S Kenny Phillips will return at all this season. However, S Antrel Rolle, S Stevie Brown and S Will Hill can get the job done.
The Giants’ offense needs to go no-huddle. This doesn’t mean they need to snap the ball quickly on every single play. The no-offense prevents the Ravens from getting fresh bodies into the game. When a defense is gassed and tired, the offense can take advantage. The Giants need to jolt their offense a little bit and find something that can work consistently.
I believe the two simple strategies I just mentioned will have the Giants playing well on Sunday. The Giants wouldn’t necessarily be experimenting, as they know how QB Eli Manning performs in two-minute situations. They also know how productive the three-safety look is for their defense, as they won a Super Bowl last year with it.