The Ravens' tough end-of-season schedule has brought their defense face-to-face with several good combinations of quarterbacks and wide receivers. This game will bring Eli Manning and Cruz to town as the Giants take on the Ravens Sunday afternoon, another test for the Baltimore defense.
How tough is this to deal with on a regular basis? The Ravens are used to it now because they see this kind of talent on a regular basis. Like defensive coordinator Dean Pees said when talking to the media earlier this week, this is what the NFL has grown into.
"I say the same thing every week. It sounds like a broken record, but who doesn’t have good wide receivers?," Pees said. "Name a team that we have had that hadn’t had a good quarterback and a good wide receiver. I don’t know how many Pro Bowl quarterbacks we’ve played this year, but it’s been a bunch, and there have been a bunch of Pro Bowl wide receivers, too. That’s just the league."
Although Manning's been inconsistent at times, when he's been good, he's been really good this season and throughout his career. He's got two Super Bowl rings to show for his efforts, and Cruz makes him better. Plus, the Giants have other receivers that can help Manning.
The timing of this stretch of good quarterbacks and wide receivers couldn't be worse for the Ravens because of how the injury bug has bitten them, but that's life in the NFL.
Once they get through this week, they'll have fun with Dalton and Green in Cincinnati next week. After that, the AFC playoffs, and it won't get any easier there.
Such is life in today's NFL.