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Baltimore Ravens clinch AFC North; Giants 'flat-lining'

There will be no sudden Week 16 revival for the New York Giants this season. But if you're looking for a talented team that could flip a switch just in time for the playoffs, look no further than the AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens.



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The Ravens pounded the Giants into submission 33-14 on Sunday in a game that wasn't even as close as the score indicates. The Ravens had 533 yards to just 188 for the Giants. The Ravens held the ball for over 39 minutes, clinching the division title at home before a tough game in Cincinnati next week.

This wasn't a game of funny bounces or big return plays. The Ravens looked like they were one of the best teams in the NFL for a day, while the Giants looked like a 2-12 squad just wasting time. New York has lost its last two games by a combined score of 67-14. The Giants' playoff hopes are all but done.

"We're flat-lining right now," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after the game.

New York no longer can win the NFC East. To get a wild-card spot, the Giants need to beat the Philadelphia Eagles next week. That's the easy part. The Giants also would need the Minnesota Vikings to lose to the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears to lose to the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys to lose to Washington Redskins.

Taken one by one, all those outcomes sound possible. But considering the Giants need all four things to happen, it's very, very unlikely. There's just no reason to believe the Giants can even compete against quality competition at this point. Their pass rush has vanished, and their passing game has been very uneven.

Given up for dead a week ago after a blowout loss, the Ravens put together their best performance of the season. The 10-5 Ravens, currently the AFC's No. 4 seed, still could climb to the No. 3 spot  with some help. Still, the Ravens-Bengals game next week ultimately doesn't mean much. This win, however, gives the Ravens renewed hope that they can make noise in January.

The Giants, on the other hand, are 8-7 and staring at another playoff-less season under Coughlin. Since 2007, the Giants have won two Super Bowls. They have won't a playoff game otherwise.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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