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Everything You Need to Know: Saints at Ravens

102018_GamePreview

Basics

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium
TV: FOX 45, WBFF (Baltimore) Fox crew (Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin)
Radio: WBAL (1090 AM)
Ravens jersey color: Purple

Stakes

The Ravens (4-2) could win their first three home games for the first time since 2012, when they went on to win Super Bowl XLVII. The Saints (4-1) are one of the NFL’s best teams, so beating them would prove a lot. It would also carry the momentum Baltimore picked up in Tennessee.

History

Baltimore has dominated the all-time series winning five of six, including three straight. The Ravens and Saints last met in 2014, when Baltimore left New Orleans with a 34-27 victory. Brees threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns, but he was also intercepted once and sacked four times, including once each by Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley. Former Ravens running back Justin Forsett ran for a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns. This could be Brees last chance to defeat the Ravens, the only NFL team he has never beaten. Brees is 0-4 against the Ravens during his 18-year career.

Key Storylines

Can the high-scoring Saints solve the Ravens’ defense?

Baltimore boasts the NFL’s top-ranked defense, surrendering 12.8 points per game. The Ravens still haven’t allowed a second-half touchdown through six weeks. Meanwhile, the Saints are averaging 36 points per game, tops in the league. It’s a classic matchup.

Will the Ravens pass rush get to Brees?

Baltimore leads the NFL in sacks with 25, coming off a franchise-record 11 sacks against Tennessee in Week 6. Brees has been sacked just eight times and has the best quarterback rating (122.3) in the NFL. This will be the Ravens’ toughest defensive test this season.

Can the Ravens get their running game going?

The Ravens are ranked 21st in the league in rushing, and the Saints have the top-ranked rushing defense. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens give a few touches to Lamar Jackson, who had a 22-yard run in Week 6. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been terrific in two home games this season with four touchdown passes and no interceptions. If the Ravens help Flacco with a running game, they will be tough to stop.

Key Matchups

Ravens offensive line vs. Saints defensive line

The Ravens will have to change their starting lineup with left guard Alex Lewis (neck) out. Whether they start Bradley Bozeman at left guard or move James Hurst to left guard and start Orlando Brown Jr. at right tackle, the offensive line could have its hands full led by athletic defensive end Cameron Jordan.

Ravens pass rush vs. Saints offensive line

New Orleans has a few offensive linemen dealing with injuries, and Baltimore is coming off an 11-sack performance. Should we expect the Ravens to reach double-digits in sacks again? No. But the more pressure they get on Brees, the better chance their chances.

Ravens linebackers vs. Saints RB Alvin Kamara

Kamara already has 38 catches and is dangerous as both a runner and receiver. When he swings out of the backfield or gets past the Ravens’ first level of defense, Mosley, Patrick Onwuasor, and Kenny Young will need to tackle and cover well to prevent Kamara from making big plays. The Ravens could also deploy Swiss Army knife Anthony Levine.

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