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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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
LB Jameel McClain - Neck
S Bernard Pollard - Chest
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