It’s time to go under the replay hood once again and see how our 10 predictions from the Ravens-Giants game fared:
1. The Ravens will not score on their opening drive.
INCORRECT. The defense set the tone right away with a three-and-out, but the Ravens offense in their second week with Jim Caldwell at the coordinators controls hit its stride right away, scoring touchdowns the first two times it had the ball. The Ravens' first drive was an impressive 14-play, 73-yard march that ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith.
2. Ray Rice will have 20 touches.
CORRECT. A week after being held to 12 carries for 38 yards against the Broncos, Rice returned to form against the Giants with 24 carries for 107 yards. He also had six catches for 51 yards, including the 27-yard touchdown run. It was his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Overall, the Ravens finished with a season-high 224 rushing yards.
3. Anquan Boldin will have at least five catches.
CORRECT. Boldin was a force for the Ravens before leaving with a shoulder bruise. A week after being held without a catch for just the second time in his career, Boldin had seven catches for 93 yards, including a 39-yarder on third-and-19.
4. Joe Flacco will be sacked less than three times.
CORRECT. Flacco made a concerted effort to get rid of the ball quickly, the Ravens’ quick tempo bothered the Giants, and the offensive line did an excellent job. It added up to a clean day for Flacco, who wasn’t sacked at all a week after being hammered routinely by the Broncos.
5. Flacco will not lose a fumble.
CORRECT. The pressure, especially on the edge, had led to two strip-sack fumbles in three weeks by Flacco, who also lost a fumble on a quarterback sneak against Denver. But Flacco had no such issues against the Giants, as the Ravens had no turnovers.
6. Ray Rice will get at least three third-down touches.
CORRECT. The Ravens’ success on third down was a huge factor in their win. A week after going 1-for-12 agianst Denver, the Ravens were 11-for-18 against the Giants, including 6-for-8 in the first half. Rice had four third-down touches – two passes, two runs – and another that was called back by penalty.
7. The Giants will win time of possession.
INCORRECT. The Ravens came into the game last in the league in time of possession (26:51) but because of their success on third downs, the offense was able to stay on the field and sustain drives. The Ravens ran a whopping 81 offensive plays to the Giants’ 45, and had the ball nearly twice as long. The Ravens had it for 39:21, the Giants for 20:39.
8. The Giants will hit a pass play of 30-plus yards.
CORRECT. The Ravens made life miserable for Eli Manning, with corner blitzes and constant pressure. Victor Cruz had a quiet game (three catches, 21 yards), but Manning did connect with Rueben Randle on a 43-yard pass play.
9. Eli Manning will be intercepted.
INCORRECT. Manning was sacked three times and hit nine or 10 other times, as the Ravens dialed up an aggressive scheme. It kept Manning off balance throughout, as he finished 14-for-28 and 150 yards, but he was not intercepted.
10. Ravens 27, Giants 24
KIND OF CORRECT. We expected the Ravens to find a way to win, as we didn’t see them losing three straight at home. We had predicted that the Ravens would escape with a win and clinch a home playoff game. Instead, they destroyed the Giants to clinch a home playoff game.