Ravens Defense on Facing Saints: 'We'll See What We're Made Of'


If you're a football fan, you'd have to be living under a rock if you didn't see the feel-good moment of when Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke the all-time passing record.

The NFL continues to be driven more and more by powerful offenses. Through Week 6, there have been a record number of touchdowns, touchdown passes and points scored.

This Sunday will be like a test straight out of a laboratory. What wins, offense or defense?

Brees, fresh off his record-breaking performance less than two weeks ago, brings the top-ranked offense into M&T Bank Stadium. On the other side will be the Ravens' top-ranked defense, fresh off a record-setting 11-sack shutout in Tennessee.

Some of the Ravens' defenders shied away from putting too much stock into the No. 1 vs. No. 1 matchup. Not veteran cornerback Brandon Carr.

"The overall feeling is, in order for us to be the great defense we've talked about, games like this – offenses with a lot of power, All-Pro, Hall of Fame quarterback, leading the league in different categories – we'll see what we're made of, man," Carr said.

"That's the exciting part., to see how good we can truly get. This is one of those games that really tests our defense in a good way. This is what you play for. All the time in the offseason, you're training and you're out here grinding it out for weeks like this."

The Ravens often face the titans of the NFL's quarterback class, most notably the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and Patriots' Tom Brady.

Even at age 39, in his 18th season, Brees is still very much in that elite class. His 122.3 quarterback rating is atop the league. He's averaging 332 passing yards per game and has thrown 11 touchdowns to zero interceptions in five games.

Right now, the Ravens are in the mental preparation phase of the matchup, which is especially important against Brees. Wide receiver Willie Snead spent the past three years catching passes from Brees, and said if he knows what you're doing on defense, you're toast.

Thus, the Ravens will try to deceive and disguise their defensive intentions, something they've done a good job with so far this season and especially in Tennessee when quarterback Marcus Mariota often looked uncomfortable in the face of Baltimore's pressure.

Brees is on a different X's and O's level at this point of his career. But the Ravens have a lot of chess masters themselves, including safety Eric Weddle. Weddle said he's going to spend even more time than usual studying film this week.

"[We] have to do our best to not let him know what we're in before the snap because we're going to be dead if he does know," Weddle said. "It's a fun challenge. The great ones always bring out the best in you, and they can bring out the worst in you too. If you make a mistake, it's a touchdown. So that's the pressure you like, especially for myself."

Brees isn't the only problem. New Orleans has one of the best running back duos in the league with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram and offensive mastermind/Head Coach Sean Payton scheming and calling the plays. New Orleans is averaging 424.0 yards and 36 points per game.

"We know this is not going to be like any of the games we've played before," cornerback Jimmy Smith said. "This is a different game because of what they do and because of who they have at quarterback. It's going to be all-hands on deck."

"This is the kind of explosive offense that gives you nightmares," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs added.

The Ravens obviously respect the Saints and their offense, but they're jacked up to go against it too. Brees is 0-4 against the Ravens during his career. They're the only team in the NFL that he's never defeated, and Baltimore will take some lessons from its past victories.

"We like this game. It's going to be fun," Suggs continued. "They're an explosive offense and we get a chance to compete against as good a team as there is. I think it's going to be a good NFL game."

"They present challenges, but so do we," Weddle added. "We're excited for this match-up."

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