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Sunday, December 23, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Ravens 33, Giants 14

By Ohm Youngmisuk



BALTIMORE –- Supposedly playing for their playoff lives, the New York Giants showed very little life for the second straight week as the defending champs were blown out by the Baltimore Ravens, 33-14.

What it means: With the Dallas Cowboys losing to the New Orleans Saints, the Giants are somehow still alive for a wild-card spot due to their overall and conference record. But they’ll need help -- and a lot of it -- to get in. The Giants' playoff fate is tied to several teams, including Washington, Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota (check out ESPN's playoff machine).

First things first, though, New York has to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, and that is no guarantee the way the Giants have been playing. They have been crushed in two straight games and look like a shell of their championship selves.

In fact, they look like they are just going through the motions of playing the season out as they continue to fade down the stretch. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Defenseless Giants: Playing without Justin Tuck and Kenny Phillips, the Giants' defense struggled badly. It looked a lot like last week when the Giants offered little resistance. There were missed tackles, big plays given up and little pressure on the quarterback.

Like Matt Ryan a week ago, Joe Flacco looked about as comfortable in the pocket as he would have been on his couch at home. Ray Rice burned Michael Boley for a touchdown reception while Stevie Brown and Will Hill missed tackles to put the Ravens up 24-7 toward the end of the first half.

Truly offensive performance: The Giants offense struggled again for the second straight game. After scoring 52 points against the Saints two weeks ago, the Giants have mustered only 14 points since.

Eli Manning was under pressure much of the first half and the Giants couldn’t seem to get anything going. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz have been taken out of the mix by defenses and the running game isn’t doing much of anything.

There’s just no spark on offense right now.

Confounding Corey: Corey Webster's difficult season continued as Flacco and the Ravens went after the Giants corner early and often. Webster gave up the first touchdown of the game to Torrey Smith. Smith later beat Webster on a 43-yard pass play that helped set up a Flacco 1-yard quarterback sneak to put the Ravens up 14-0.

Webster had difficulty locating the ball or had bad positioning as well. He nearly gave up another touchdown in the second quarter but Jacoby Jones' 9-yard catch in the end zone was overturned.

Giant injuries: Tuck (shoulder) and Phillips (knee) did not play. Defensive tackles Marvin Austin and Chris Canty suffered knee injuries during the game as well.

What’s next: The Giants finish the season at home next Sunday against the Eagles, who could put them out of their misery and end their playoff chances.