Somewhere along the line, the third preseason game earned the unofficial title of "closest the preseason gets to regular season NFL action".
It's the game in which teams play their starters the longest, try to get the most accomplished, and hope to develop a little momentum as the games that matter start to approach.
Head coach John Harbaugh said that the Ravens will follow that thought process tomorrow night, meaning we will get to see the Ravens' first-team offense and defense play at least the first two quarters against the Giants.
"Those guys will play at least until halftime, and there will be a number of those guys that will play into the second half a little bit," Harbaugh said. "We've actually played our starters less than the two teams that we played against in the first two preseason games.
"I don't know what the Giants will do, but we've kept to our plan, and we'll do that again this week."
The "plan" for running back Ray Rice to this point has been to limit his carries in preseason action.
Rice has just four touches through the first two preseason games (three carries, one reception), something which was by design. The Ravens are taking strides to keep their Pro Bowl back healthy and make sure he's able to carry the workload of a 16-game season.
Rice says he isn't frustrated by the lack of game action. In fact, he feels like he's gotten plenty of work in the Ravens' practices throughout OTAs and training camp.
"One thing I've known is, I've taken my reps in practice," Rice said. "I've gotten tackled by our defense. We're one of the few teams that go live. Obviously, the games, you want to polish your game, but I'm not worried about the amount of carries I'm getting.
"Obviously, I want to go out there and try to be perfect on every play that I do have while I'm out there, but one thing I can say is, my carries in practice are pretty intense. We're one of the few teams that do inside-run drills. We do live periods. We do situations. I've gotten a lot of carries and a lot of work during training camp."