Week 16 for the New York Giants will be their greatest test in 2020: facing the Baltimore Ravens. The Giants will head to Baltimore to battle last season’s top seed in the AFC on December 27th.
Last year the league was put on notice about how explosive quarterback Lamar Jackson is. Now, the Giants will get to see first hand just how good the 2019 MVP is.
Key Losses: Tony Jefferson, Brandon Carr, Michael Pierce, Patrick Onwuasor, Hayden Hurst
Key free agent signings and trades: Calais Campbell, Dereck Wolfe, D.J. Fluker
Draft picks: Patrick Queen, J.K. Dobbins, Justin Madubuike, Devin Duvernay, Malik Harrison, Tyre Phillips, Ben Bredeson, Broderick Washington Jr., James Proches, Geno Stone
Having to face the reigning MVP is not an easy task for a defense. It’s especially difficult when the offense surrounding him got even better. Jackson’s dominance last season was fueled by a blend of burning defenders with his speed and torching them with his arm.
Rookie running back J.K. Dobbins joins a deep running back group that was previously led by Mark Ingram. With Ingram hitting 30, Dobbins will supply serious burst alongside Gus Edwards and Justice Hill.
Jackson also has quality, young talent to distribute the ball to with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Miles Boykin entering their second years. Also providing an outlet for Jackson is tight end, Mark Andrews.
To boost an already stellar offense, the Ravens also boast a top-level offensive line. Bookend tackles Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown lead the group in paving rushing lanes for Jackson and company.
Heading into his third season, Jackson won’t have to do everything on his own. While he was already aided by an elite supporting cast, the Ravens’ defense got even stronger.
Veteran defensive tackles Derek Wolfe and Calais Campbell joined the team during the offseason to play alongside Pernell McPhee and Brandon Williams. Despite losing starting linebackers in back to back years, Baltimore added rookies Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison.
Lastly, you can’t forget the members of Baltimore’s airtight secondary. Veteran Earl Thomas roams the backend, while corners Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey, and Jimmy Smith lock down receivers.
Out of all of the Giant’s opponents in 2020, the Baltimore Ravens have the strongest roster front to back. Every position group posses at least one above-average to dominant starter. Because of their depth and talent across their roster, the Giants are in for a long day on December 27th.
The largest hurdle for New York is finding a way to contain Jackson. The Giants linebackers and defensive line will have their hands full not only trying to hinder Jackson, but also limiting their collective rushing attack. Additionally, the Giants secondary might struggle to contain the speed of Baltimore’s receivers.
Where trouble might arise further is on offense, facing a complete and veteran-laden unit. The Ravens don’t possess an elite pass rusher, but defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is an expert on creating pressure. Protecting Daniel Jones and establishing the run won’t be easy.
If the Giants have a successful run towards the end of 2020, this Week 16 game will be pivotal in helping them remain over .500. However, with Baltimore likely fighting for the top seed in the AFC, the Giants could be running into a buzzsaw at the most crucial part of the season.