Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Something had to give when the league's best rushing team met the league's best rushing defense Sunday in the Meadowlands. The New York Giants imposed their will on the Ravens, gashing them for 207 rushing yards in a dominating 30-10 victory.
It was the first time a team has rushed for 200 yards against the Ravens since Oct. 5, 1997, when the Steelers accomplished the feat. And it's not like the Giants needed a lot of time to wear the Ravens down. Starting running back Brandon Jacobs had 70 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter. He had to leave the game briefly due to what appears to be a minor injury, but Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw were able to pick up where Jacobs left off. Bradshaw finished with 96 yards, including a 77-yard dash in the fourth quarter.
The Giants dominated the line of scrimmage, and quarterback Eli Manning (13 of 23, one touchdown, one interception) made plays when he had to. If not for his interception just before the half, the Giants (9-1) could've padded their lead to 27-3.
The Giants shut down the Ravens' running game early in the game, putting even more pressure on rookie quarterback Joe Flacco to make plays. Flacco took off running on several plays and brought the Ravens to within 20-10 after an impressive drive in the third quarter. Giants cornerback Aaron Ross ended any hope of a Ravens comeback when he picked off a pass late in the third quarter and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
Despite what you hear from Redskins coach Jim Zorn, the race for the NFC East title is effectively over. The Giants still have a brutal schedule ahead that includes a three-game stretch against division opponents, but they've stacked enough wins not to worry about dropping a couple of games.
At this point, it's pretty clear that the Titans and Giants are the two best teams in football. And it seems like there's a lot of distance to get to No. 3.