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NFC guest analyst


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 25, 2001

Brian Baldinger, a former offensive lineman with the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles for 13 years (1982-94), has served as an analyst for Fox the past three years. He recently talked to staff writer Brian Landman about this matchup.

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I'm going to take the Giants in this game. I think they're a team that has steadily improved since its loss to Detroit. It is a very balanced football team, more balanced than the Ravens.

The Giants showed they can effectively spread a defense out, like they did to the Vikings, and find the holes in the defense and exploit them. That's what they're going to have to do against this Ravens defense.

And then the other side of the equation is the Giants defense is really being slighted a lot right now because of how great, and probably rightfully so, the Ravens (defense) has been. The Ravens have been outstanding. They set the record for fewest points in a 16-game season and have been dominant in the playoffs.

But this Giants defense, what it did to the Vikings was outstanding; what it did to the Eagles was amazing. It has individual players who are playing probably better than they've ever played in their life. Michael Strahan, I don't think there's any end in football playing as well as he. Jessie Armstead is playing as well as Ray Lewis. And as a group, (defensive coordinator) John Fox just has the right pulse of what it has to do each game to shut down an opponent.

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