Ravens, Giants mir­ror im­age of each other

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Tom Cana­van

Five weeks into the NFL sea­son, the Ravens and Giants are in the same hole. They are rid­ing los­ing streaks and their of­fenses are strug­gling head­ing into today’s game at MetLife Sta­dium.

Five weeks into the NFL sea­son, the Bal­ti­more Ravens and New York Giants are in the same hole.

They are rid­ing los­ing streaks and their of­fenses are strug­gling head­ing into today’s game at MetLife Sta­dium

Bal­ti­more (3-2) did some­thing about its of­fen­sive woes af­ter last week­end’s 16-10 loss to the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins. Coach John Har­baugh fired of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Marc Trest­man on Mon­day and pro­moted vet­eran as­sis­tant Marty Morn­hin­weg to re­place him.

The Giants (2-3) didn’t do any­thing that dras­tic af­ter los­ing their third straight game, 23-16 in Green Bay.

How­ever, there is con­cern. The team has scored 89 points, with only 26 in the last two games. Eli Man­ning has not been sharp and the of­fen­sive line has been in­con­sis­tent.

Giants coach Ben McA­doo in­sists his of­fense will pro­duce once it cuts down on the penal­ties and turnovers. He also has to worry about changes Morn­hin­weg, a for­mer co­or­di­na­tor in San Fran­cisco, Philadel­phia and with the Jets, will bring.

“We need to be ready for any­thing and ev­ery­thing, and ex­pect the un­ex­pected there,” McA­doo said.

Har­baugh said that the Ravens won’t be changing their of­fense un­der Morn­hin­weg. The big­gest dif­fer­ence will be the play calls and some of the ter­mi­nol­ogy in mak­ing those calls as Bal­ti­more tries to snap a two-game slide.

“I think there will be a few tweaks here and there,” Ravens quar­ter­back Joe Flacco added. “I don’t re­ally want to get into too much specifics, but Marty brings a def­i­nite en­ergy and a lot of con­fi­dence.”

Bal­ti­more tight end Den­nis Pitta called Trest­man a great guy and a great coach.

“It was dif­fi­cult to see him go, but I think it was some­thing that this of­fense needed,” Pitta said. “We were in kind of a bad place. It didn’t seem like we were get­ting out of it. Hope­fully, this will spark us.”

New York has sput­tered on of­fense, par­tic­u­larly in the red zone. It has 15 pos­ses­sions in­side the 20yard line and pro­duced seven touch­downs, 46.7 per­cent. Its 89 points are the fourth fewest in the NFC, and Seat­tle (79) has played only four games.

“I think we just have to sus­tain a drive for a touch­down,” right guard John Jerry said. “That’s the No. 1 thing we need more than any­thing. We just need to get that feel­ing back.”

Here are some things to watch in the game:

Giants’ run­ning game

Start­ing half­back Rashad Jen­nings might be ready to re­turn af­ter hurt­ing a thumb against New Or­leans in Week 2. Shane Vereen was lost the fol­low­ing week to a tri­ceps in­jury, and Or­leans Darkwa and Bobby Rainey have car­ried the load the past two weeks. If Jen­nings can’t play, ex­pect to see more of rookie Paul Perkins, the ex­cit­ing fifth-round pick.

Road re­ver­sal

The Ravens are 2-0 on the road, match­ing the num­ber of wins they had in away games all last sea­son. Af­ter ral­ly­ing to beat Cleveland, they edged Jack­sonville on Sept. 25 be­fore un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally dropped two straight at home.

The last time Bal­ti­more won three in a row on the road in the reg­u­lar sea­son was in 2012. That’s the year the Ravens clinched a play­off berth by beat­ing the Giants at home be­fore go­ing on to win the Su­per Bowl.

In­jured sec­ondary

Start­ing safety Nat Berhe (con­cus­sion) has missed the last two, and rookie Dar­ian Thompson (foot) is go­ing to miss his fourth straight game. Rookie free agent Andrew Adams has started the last two games, but don’t be sur­prised if vet­eran cor­ner­back Leon Hall plays some safety. The sign­ing of cor­ner­back Coty Sens­abaugh adds some depth with Dom­inque Rodger­sCro­mar­tie and Eli Ap­ple deal­ing with groin in­juries.

Bad taste

Two weeks ago, the Ravens were un­beaten and con­sid­ered one of the most sur­pris­ing teams in the NFL. Now they’re strug­gling to stay over .500 to re­main in the thick of the AFC North chase.

“We’re itch­ing for a W,” line­backer Ter­rell Suggs said. “When you lose, ev­ery­thing is bad. The food is bad. Ev­ery­thing is bad.”

Though today’s game isn’t ex­actly a must-win sit­u­a­tion, it’s pretty darn close — for both teams.

“We both want to get in the win col­umn,” Ravens re­ceiver Mike Wal­lace said. “We lost the last two; they lost the last three. There is a sense of ur­gency on both sides.”

Tack­les

Giants tack­les Ereck Flow­ers and Bobby Hart both strug­gled pro­tect­ing Man­ning last week. Flow­ers got into trou­ble af­ter the game for shov­ing an ESPN re­porter. Don’t be sur­prised if they are on short leashes. Vet­eran Will Beatty will be next up if they don’t im­prove.

AP FILE

Giants’ Eli Man­ning throws dur­ing the first half of loss to Pack­ers last Sun­day.

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