The Ravens lead the all-time series, 5-2, and have won three of the last four over the Saints. Their last meeting was in 2018 when New Orleans won a close 24-23 decision at M&T Bank Stadium. Justin Tucker missed an extra point that could have sent the game to overtime. The last three Ravens-Saints matchups have been decided by seven points or less.
Baltimore has a one-game lead over Cincinnati in the AFC North and wants to take control of the division in the second half of the season. The Ravens have won back-to-back games for the first time, and are looking to make it three straight. New Orleans remains in contention in the NFC South, where the Falcons (4-4) are in first place and no team is above .500.
What impact will Roquan Smith have in his Ravens debut?
The Ravens acquired the NFL's leading tackler just before the trade deadline, and Smith will make his Ravens debut on Monday Night Football. A premier inside linebacker, Smith has the talent to impact Baltimore's defense as a run defender, pass defender and blitzer in the center of the defense. The Ravens have made strides defensively after their early season struggles and hope Smith provides the type of lift that Marcus Peters brought when he arrived via trade in 2019 (a pick-six in his first game). Smith will only have a few days of practice with Baltimore prior to Monday's kickoff, but he's hoping to make an immediate impact.
Can the offense keep it rolling despite injuries?
The Ravens will be without Rashod Bateman for the rest of the year as he undergoes foot surgery. Mark Andrews is dealing with shoulder and knee injuries. Gus Edwards is hampered by a hamstring. It remains to be seen whether Andrews and Edwards will play, and other pass catchers will have to emerge regardless. The Ravens rolled over the Buccaneers without Bateman and Andrews in the second half, piling up more than 200 rushing yards to seal a victory. Can Baltimore's offense do that again versus a defense that's coming off a shutout of the Raiders?
Can the Ravens contain Alvin Kamara?
The Saints' star running back is coming off a breakout game with three touchdowns against the Raiders in Week 8, rushing for 62 yards and one touchdown and catching nine passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Kamara is healthy again and the Ravens know they must be wary. "Alvin Kamara is a tough tackle," defensive lineman Calais Campbell said. "He has incredible balance, great vision, explosive, strong. He was having a quiet season and last week he reminded everybody how good he can be. I'm glad he did it. We'll be locked in and focused. If he gets going, he's as good as anybody who's ever played this game."
Here are the players to watch for the Ravens' Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints.
LB Roquan Smith vs. RB Alvin Kamara
Much of the New Orleans offense runs through Kamara, and Smith will key on every move the running back makes. The Saints have scored at least 24 points in five straight games and Kamara is coming off his best game of the season. It usually takes more than one tackler to bring down Kamara, but Smith is no ordinary tackler. It's an important matchup between two stars on opposite sidelines on Monday Night Football.