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News » Trying to change course of history

Trying to change course of history

Trying to change course of history
Too bad the Los Angeles Buccaneers and the Detroit Wolverines aren't around anymore. Surely the Giants would like to settle the score with them. And the Canton Bulldogs ... there's been some payback accruing interest for them as well.

But without a time machine, the "rivalries" with the Bucs and Wolverines and, depending upon how you look at it, the Bulldogs (see accompanying box) will forever be one-sided. They are three of only four teams that the Giants have faced in 82 1/2 seasons of professional Football without a win.

The fourth? Well, they'll be on the field at Giants Stadium this afternoon.

The Giants have played the Baltimore Ravens three times and are winless. Not only have they never beaten the Ravens, they've more often come away from those contests humbled, humiliated and hollering for mercy.

The most recent clash came in December 2004, when the host Ravens beat the Giants, 37-14. That was the game in which rookie quarterback Eli Manning completed 4 of 18 passes for 27 yards, threw two interceptions and exited with a passer rating of 0.0.

Yes. Zero. Point. Zero. He couldn't even muster 0.1.

"It's a long time ago and was one of my early starts," Manning said this past week when asked if he still gets nightmares from that performance. "This team has come a long way and I have come a long way since '04."

The first meeting between the teams came in 1997, when the Ravens beat the Giants, 24-23. It was a game in which the Giants led by nine points in the fourth quarter, but Vinny Testaverde rallied the Birds with an 83-yard touchdown drive and Matt Stover kicked a 37-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining.

The Giants had a chance to force the Ravens to need a touchdown on their final drive to win, but Brad Daluiso missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt with 2:59 remaining. Daluiso missed two field-goal attempts that day as well as an extra point that was blocked, the difference in a one-point game.

Then, of course, there was Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa. The Giants scored only one touchdown in that game - an 87-yard kickoff return by Ron Dixon - and lost, 34-7. Only Amani Toomer remains on the Giants from that team, and the Ravens still have several lingering figures.

"It can never die," Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, the MVP of that game, said of those memories from early 2001. "It feels just like yesterday because it never changes."

The Giants can't change the past, whether it's in regard to the Ravens or the Detroit Wolverines. But they do have a chance to notch a victory today.

It won't be easy. The Giants have the top running attack in the NFL and the Ravens are tops in stopping the run. They are ranked fifth and sixth in points allowed per game this season - the Ravens yield 16.7, the Giants give up 17.8 - and in the last four weeks, they have been two of the three highest-scoring offenses in the league (33.5 points per game for the Ravens; 30.3 for the Giants).

The teams share a motivational factor as well. The Ravens are looking to beat the defending Super Bowl champs. The Giants are looking for a little redemption against a team they never have been able to top.

"Last time we played them in '04, they embarrassed us and made us look pretty bad," Toomer said. "A lot of guys here remember that and we'll be ready this week."

And after that? Bring on the Wolverines!


The Giants joined the NFL in 1925. These are the teams they have never beaten, and their meetings:

Opponent Season Outcome Opponent's top player

Detroit Wolverines 1928 (7-2-1) Beat Giants, 28-0 Benny Friedman, B

Los Angeles Buccaneers 1926 (6-3-1) Beat Giants, 6-0 Tut Imlay, B

*Canton Bulldogs 1926 (1-9-3) Tied Giants, 7-7 Jim Thorpe, B

** Baltimore Ravens 1997 (6-9-1) Beat Giants, 24-23 Vinny Testaverde, QB

2000 (12-4-0) Beat Giants, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV Ray Lewis, LB

2004 (9-7) Beat Giants, 37-14 Kyle Boller, QB

Notes: *The Giants have beaten Cleveland incarnations of the Bulldogs but never the Canton Bulldogs, according to both the Giants' media guide and several NFL historians whom we consulted. **Officially, the Ravens came into existence in 1996.

Unofficially, they were formerly the Cleveland Browns , whom the Giants beat on numerous occasions.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 16, 2008

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