NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The theme at Giants practice Wednesday was consistency.
Or rather, inconsistency.
Suddenly in dogfight for the NFC East, the defending Super Bowl champs know they’ll have to step it up Sunday in Baltimore.
“There’s times we go out there, we look like the best team in the world, there’s times we go out there, we look like the worst team in the world,” said safety Antrel Rolle, according to the New York Daily News. “I think we know who we are as a team. But, you know, we just fail to go out there and prove it each and every week.”
Earlier this month on WFAN radio, Rolle called on his teammates to quit lauding their opponents prior to games.
“This game is not about them,” he said Wednesday. “This game is about us.”
Apparently coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning didn’t get the memo. They both had high praise for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
“Joe is a very talented quarterback,” said Coughlin. “He’s an outstanding deep-ball thrower. He shows great courage in the pocket. He’ll step up and throw the ball in the face of the rush. He does have the ability to move around the perimeter, and he will run if he has to.
“I see a good, young quarterback who’s grown in the system that they’ve developed, that John (Harbaugh) and his staff have developed there in Baltimore. He seems to be getting better all the time.”
Flacco has never been to the Super Bowl, but he has twice taken Baltimore to the AFC title game. Last year, he nearly engineered an upset of the New England Patriots in the conference championship but was undone by a dropped pass and a botched field-goal try.
But he has fumbled three times and thrown three interceptions in his last three games, each of which the Baltimore Ravens have lost.
“He makes a lot of plays and has turned into a guy who’s a good leader,” said Manning. “Last year he was right there, a play away from making the Super Bowl.”
If the Ravens (9-5) are to pull out of their tailspin and make some noise in the postseason, Flacco will have to right himself in a hurry. Baltimore can clinch its second straight AFC North title with a win.
Meanwhile, the Giants (8-6), locked in a three-way tie atop their division, need this one in the worst way.
Big Blue is guaranteed to make the playoffs if they win out at Baltimore and at home against the Eagles.
“We’re a team that’s desperate,” said wide receiver Victor Cruz, according to the Daily News. “We need these two victories, and we’re focused on this first one right now.”
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