There were still stupid penalties, bad calls and a nonexistent running game, but this time they won. Yes they won 27-23 in what might be affectionately called The Penalty Bowl. And the star of the show was Odell Beckham.
Things started slowly for Big Blue. On defense they allow a few big 3rd down plays for Flacco and the Ravens, resulting in a field goal. Then on the first play, Eli connects with Odell who then fumbles leading to a Baltimore touchdown, 10-0 Ravens. Fortunately Manning realizes the run’s not working (17 carries for 38 yards on the day) and goes to the air more but cant connect at first. In fact they didn't get a first down until midway through the second quarter. Once he finds his groove, he hits nine different receivers for more than 400 yards. Beckham showed what a star he could be by making big plays in big spots after the fumble then leaving the game with a hip pointer. In his place, Roger Lewis scores his first NFL TD. The OL protection was finally sufficient. Eli was sacked only once. Giants went 4-14 on third down, but converted all three fourth down conversions. Its 10-10 at the half.
Its 17-13 Giants in the 4th, looks like a win right? Well it almost wasn’t. After a Baltimore field goal, there’s the flag. There are bad calls and missed calls in every game. There just seemed to be a lot in this contest (Ravens 15 penalties for 111 yards. Giants 7 penalties for 119 yards) and the pass interference on Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie when he knocked down an attempt that was intended for Breshad Perriman late in the quarter almost turned into the game's deciding factor. It was a terrible call. It set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Baltimore’s Terrance West. That gave the Ravens a 23-20 lead with a little more than two minutes remaining. Eli then connects with the returned Beckham for 66-yard touchdown that gave New York the lead, but 13 was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taking off his helmet while celebrating on the field after his score. And you start to think, oh no, this could hurt. Giants are up by 4. Baltimore advances to the Giants’ 39-yard line, but the Giants appeared to have made a fourth-down stop with 15 seconds remaining in the game. A roughing-the-passer penalty on Giants defensive lineman Owa Odighizuwa (not Odell) , though, gave the Ravens time for three more plays. Tension is in the air. Each pass attempt Flacco, who completed 26 of 48 passes but did not have a touchdown pass, falls incomplete. Finally it’s over. Giants win! Whew!!
Another nail biter. Another game where it’s under two minutes and the outcome is in doubt. And it was all on Odell. Beckham the football player was enough to overcome Beckham the diva/entertainer, and now the Giants are off to London, where he’ll have a new audience anxious to see the show.
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