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Recap: Giants struggle in Baltimore, lose 27-13

DEFENSE-1

The Giants' 2020 season is concluding as it started, with a strong of losses in which the offense struggles to score points.

It happened again Sunday in M&T Bank Stadium, where the Giants lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 27-13. It was their third consecutive defeat by at least 14 points and they failed to score more than one touchdown in any of them. The Giants have not scored more than 20 points in five consecutive games, their longest single-season streak since 2016.

They began Joe Judge's first season as head coach with five straight losses and did not score more than 16 points in any of their first four games.

The loss dropped the Giants to 5-10 and ensured they will finish with double-digit defeats for the fourth consecutive season. If either Philadelphia or Washington wins late Sunday afternoon, the Giants will be eliminated from the NFC East title race and postseason consideration.

UP NEXT: The Giants will conclude their season next Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys in MetLife Stadium. It will be the fourth consecutive season and the ninth time in 10 years the Giants' final game will be at home. On Oct. 11, Greg Zuerlein's third field goal of the game and second in the final two minutes, a 34-yarder as time expired, gave the Cowboys a 37-34 victory against the Giants in Dallas. The Cowboys have won seven consecutive games in the series and are looking for their fourth straight season series sweep. They lead the regular-season series, 68-45-2. The Giants are 5-5 vs. Dallas in MetLife.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE:

The unit continues to struggle. In the decisive first half – which ended with Baltimore holding a 20-3 lead - the Giants' statistical disadvantage was unsightly. Baltimore had dominant advantages in plays (44-18), total yards (282-95), first downs (18-7) and time of possession (22:38-7:22). The Ravens also converted six of seven third-down opportunities in the first quarter.

Overall, the Giants were outgained, 432-269.

The Giants ran just three offensive plays in the first quarter. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is their lowest total in an opening quarter in at least the last 40 years.

The Giants scored three or fewer points in the first half for the fourth consecutive game.

Quarterback Daniel Jones played the entire game after missing last week's loss to Cleveland with hamstring and ankle injuries. He completed 24 of 41 passes for 215 yards, a fourth-quarter touchdown to Sterling Shepard and no interceptions. But he was sacked six times and did not have a rushing attempt until he scrambled for three yards with less than one minute remaining in the game.

Wayne Gallman led the Giants with just 27 rushing yards on six carries.

Shepard caught nine passes for 77 yards and Pro Bowl tight end Evan Engram added seven receptions for 65 yards.

View photos from the Week 16 matchup between the Giants and Ravens in at M&T Bank Stadium.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE:

Playing the Ravens makes for a long day at the office. Baltimore, which leads the NFL in rushing yardage, ran for 249 yards, the highest total allowed by the Giants since Nov. 9, 2014, when the Seahawks ran for 350 yards in a victory in Seattle. The Ravens averaged 6.2 yards on their 40 rushing attempts.

Lamar Jackson gave the Giants fits all day. The Ravens' multi-dimensional quarterback and 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player completed 17 of 26 passes for 183 yards and rushed for 80 yards on 13 carries. He was one of three Ravens to run for at least 77 yards, joining Gus Edwards (85 yards) and J.K. Dobbins (77 yards and Baltimore's only rushing touchdown).

The Ravens crossed the 100-yard rushing mark in the second quarter, their 38th consecutive game with at least 100 yards, the second-longest streak in NFL history.

The defense had a rough start as Baltimore took a 7-0 lead on the game's opening series when Lamar Jackson threw a six-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquise Brown to cap a 13-play, 82-yard drive that consumed 8:12. It terms of time off the clock, it was the second-longest drive allowed by the Giants this season. On Sept. 27, San Francisco scored a touchdown to end a series that took 8:21 to complete.

Baltimore was the fourth Giants opponent to score a first-possession touchdown this season and the first since the Eagles on Oct. 22 in Philadelphia. All of them occurred in Giants road games. The others were Chicago on Sept. 20 and the Rams on Oct. 4. The Giants were 0-4 in those games.

Rookie running back J.K. Dobbins increased the Ravens' lead to 14-0 with a two-yard touchdown on Baltimore's second offensive series. The Ravens were the first Giants opponent to score touchdowns on each of their first two possessions since Washington did it in FedExField on Dec. 22, 2019. Washington scored on Dwayne Haskins touchdown passes of six yards to Steven Sims, Jr. and 10 yards to Hale Hentges.

Baltimore traveled 65 yards in 10 plays and 5:02 on its second drive. The Ravens' third possession replaced the first as the second-longest of the season against the Giants, consuming 8:13 while covering 60 yards in 13 plays. That series ended with Justin Tucker's 20-yard field goal.

The Giants' defense came up with the game's only takeaway when safety Logan Ryan recovered Jackson's fumble at the Baltimore two-yard line.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS:

Graham Gano kicked field goals of 31 and 42 yards and has succeeded on 29 consecutive attempts, a streak that is both a career best and ties Giants' record. Gano's previous personal best was 28 in a row with Carolina spanning the 2017-18 seasons. He shares the Giants' mark with Josh Brown, who succeeded on 29 straight attempts in 2014-15.

Punter Riley Dixon made an impressive unassisted tackle on Devin Duvernay after a 19-yard return in the second quarter.

INJURY REPORT:

NYG: None reported.

BAL: Center Patrick Mekari left the game with a back injury in the second quarter and was replaced by Matt Skura.

INACTIVES:

NYG: The Giants' inactive players were wide receiver Golden Tate (calf), running back Eli Penny (illness, not COVID-related), offensive linemen Kyle Murphy and Jackson Barton and defensive lineman RJ McIntosh. Penny had played in 44 consecutive games.

BAL: The Ravens' inactive players were running back Mark Ingram, cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Marcus Peters, wide receiver/punt returner James Proche, center Trystan Colon-Castillo, linebacker Jaylon Ferguson and defensive tackle Broderick Washington.

LINEUP CHANGES:

NYG: Quarterback Daniel Jones started the game after missing last week's loss to Cleveland with hamstring and ankle injuries. Jones had missed two of the previous three games; Colt McCoy was 1-1 in his absence. Pro Bowler James Bradberry returned to his familiar position at left cornerback. He was forced to sit out last week after he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 because he was deemed to be a high-risk close contact of an individual who has tested positive.

BAL: James Proche, who had each of the Ravens' 23 punt returns this season, was inactive (coach's decision) so Devin Duvernay added his fellow rookie's duties to his job as kickoff returner.

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