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Ravens' real problem is Giants' passing game

Going into Sunday's game, there's going to be a lot of talk about the Giants' running game and the Ravens' run defense – and justifiably so, each team is at the top of the NFL in those respective categories.

But the likelihood is that when the Giants try to attack the Ravens at the Meadowlands on Sunday, it will be by going over them rather than through them. The Giants' run game may be a source of pride but they would rather simply win and slamming into the strength of Baltimore's defense doesn't make a lot of sense.

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And when you look at the Giants' offensive production, you'll notice that their passing game can be just as efficient as their running game and given the choice between hammering away at the Baltimore front seven or trying to take advantage of a secondary that has been playing gamely through injuries, the path of least resistance – and to the end zone – appears obvious.

The Giants have three productive wide receivers, Plaxico Burress (32 catches), Amani Toomer (29) and Steve Smith (35), and tight end Kevin Boss has four touchdowns. Eli Manning's passing rating is 88.8 with 14 touchdowns and just six interceptions. When the Giants played and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, who also have a stout run defense, New York had more than twice as many yards passing (199) as it did running (83). New York won that game, 21-14, despite having the fewest rushing yards in any game this season.

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I would wager that three-wideout sets are popular this week at the Giants' practices.

That's not to say that stopping the Giants' rushing attack isn't important for the Ravens because if New York does get its three running backs going, then play-action will make Baltimore even more vulnerable to the pass. But despite the intrigue of the great matchup between the No. 1 run offense vs. the No. 1 run defense, Ravens fans should probably be more worried about those wide receivers slashing through the secondary than Brandon Jacobs challenging the Ravens' linebackers.


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