Giants (8-6) at Ravens (9-5): Game day preview

USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are in a must-win situation today when they face the Baltimore Ravens.

Will the New York Giants start what could be another late-season run to poat-season glory Sunday when they face the Baltimore Ravens? Or, will they offer up another unexplainable, lackluster effort and implode their hopes of defending their Super Bowl title without even getting to the playoffs?

We find out today beginning at 4:25 p.m. ET when the 8-6 Giants face the 9-5 Ravens. The game will be televised on FOX. The radio broadcast can be heard on WFAN 660-AM.

[Big Blue View Game Day Hub]

Key Players

Giants

1.Eli Manning -- Will the Giants see the Good Eli or the Bad Eli? The Bad Eli has reared his head more often this season than anyone anticipated. If the Giants are going back to the playoffs Bad Eli needs to stay in his bottle. He has come out and played enough this year.

2. Ahmad Bradshaw -- The Giants need him to play, and play well. David Wilson might be a terrific back one day, but right now the guy Manning and the Giants trust when it matters is Bradshaw. And don't underestimate how much his toughness and attitude mean to the offense aside from his ability.

3. Jason Pierre-Paul -- Pass rush this. Pass rush that. Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. Whatever. Pierre-Paul is the Giants' best defensive player. It's time for a monster game from the All-Pro defensive end.

Ravens

1. Ed Reed -- He's old, but he is still a future Hall of Fame safety and he is still capable of baiting the Bad Eli into throwing him the ball.

2. Joe Flacco -- The Ravens have lost three straight. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was replaced by Jim Caldwell, mostly because it seems the team wants more from Flacco. Can he give it to them? I don't know.

3. Ray Rice -- The Giants have to slow Rice in order to put the Ravens in passing situations and turn their defensive ends loose.

[Complete Giants-Ravens Preview StoryStream]

Storylines

We've been over it again and again. The Giants have squandered away a boatload of opportunities this season and -- once again -- have put themselves in a situation where they cannot afford to lose any more games if they hope to squeeze into the NFC playoffs.

That, basically, is the story line. Giants win, they still have an opportunity. Lose and they will likely spend the off season wondering how a defending Super Bowl champion returning so much talent could throw away an entire season and not even reach the playoffs.

Playoff Picture

New York clinches a playoff spot with:
1) NYG win + CHI loss + MIN loss + DAL loss + WAS loss or tie OR
2) NYG win + CHI loss + MIN loss + WAS loss + DAL tie

If the Giants lose there are a number of scenarios that could knock them out of the playoff race.

Quotable

"If we win two games, we're going to be in the playoffs. That's what we have to focus on. Our team knows the circumstances very well. It is a playoff situation for us. We now have to win to have the opportunity to go to the playoffs. We've responded to that in the past. We're going to have to respond to that again."

-- Giants' coach Tom Coughlin

Injury Report

Giants

Questionable
C David Baas - Hip/Shoulder
TE Travis Beckum - Knee
RB Ahmad Bradshaw - Knee/Foot
S Kenny Phillips - Knee
S Tyler Sash - Hamstring
G Chris Snee - Hip
DE Justin Tuck - Shoulder

Probable
CB Prince Amukamara - Hamstring
DT Chris Canty - Neck
WR Hakeem Nicks - Knee
WR Rueben Randle - Back

Ravens

Out
LB Jameel McClain - Neck

Doubtful
S Bernard Pollard - Chest

Questionable
WR Tandon Doss - Ankle
LB Dannell Ellerbe - Ankle
FB Vonta Leach - Ankle
LB Albert McClellan - Thigh/Shoulder
RB Bernard Pierce - Head
WR Torrey Smith - Head
G Marshal Yanda - Ankle

Probable
TE Ed Dickson - Knee
S James Ihedigbo - Neck
DT Arthur Jones - Shoulder
DE Pernell McPhee - Thigh
S Ed Reed - Shoulder
CB Jimmy Smith - Abdomen
LB Terrell Suggs - Biceps
WR Deonte Thompson - Thigh

In Case You Missed It

Here are links to some of the best stories this week from Big Blue View.

New York Giants' defensive ends: Have they become 'average pass rushers?'

Giants at Ravens: Baltimore Ravens Scouting Report

New York Giants pass rush: Delving even further into the lack of QB sacks

Ray Rice: Will he run wild on the Giants?

Perry Fewell: Giants' defense 'embarrassed' by loss to Atlanta

Film Review: Baltimore Ravens

'Five Questions' with Baltimore Beatdown

Giants vs. Ravens: What to watch on Sunday

Justin Tuck: Antonio Pierce questions his passion for the game - Big Blue View

Jason Pierre-Paul: Left or right, does it really matter? - Big Blue View

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