In a potential game of the week matchup, two teams on the cusp of greatness each will try to prove themselves as among the NFL’s elite. The Ravens and Saints both come into Sunday’s game, each with four wins on the young season. The Saints possess one of the best offenses in the league. Led by Drew Brees, the offense is accustomed to scoring touchdown after touchdown, giving the Saints the ability to glide past many opponents. The Ravens may be a bit of a challenge for the Saints, however. Baltimore’s defense is the best in the league. It holds opposing defenses to just under 13 points per game, and just over 270 yards per game. The unit is built for domination, with an extremely talented secondary, and a ferocious defensive front. The game between these two teams will be exciting, and only one team can emerge victoriously. Here are three keys for success for the Ravens.
Lockdown Saints Receivers
The New Orleans Saints have one of the most talented offenses in the entire National Football League. While players like Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram will help Drew Brees on the ground and on short passes, the future Hall of Famer will look downfield throughout the game. As a result, the Saints wide receivers will be targeted relentlessly throughout the game. Brees will likely spread the ball between receivers but will favor two in particular. His two favorite targets are Michael Thomas and Cameron Meredith. The Ravens must focus on these two, and attempt to lock them down throughout the game. While this task may seem daunting, the Ravens have the pieces necessary to do it. Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr are great in the secondary and can cover each wide receiver like a blanket. If the Ravens can neutralize the threat of these two wide receivers, Drew Brees will have a much more difficult time moving the football down the field.
Pressure Drew Brees
While the Ravens need to shut down the two most prolific receivers in New Orleans, Baltimore cannot stop there. Drew Brees is a veteran quarterback and knows how to deal with adverse situations. Even if the Ravens are able to prevent either Michael Thomas or Cameron Meredith from catching the football, Brees will still find other targets. In order to prevent Drew Brees running rampant on Baltimore’s defense, the Ravens must pressure him throughout the game. The success of last week against the Titans will be near impossible to replicate, but that is not what is needed. The Ravens need to keep the pressure on Brees and sack him a few times throughout the game. Players like Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, and Matthew Judon need to continually hurry Brees’ pocket progression. This will prevent Brees from picking apart the Ravens defense, as he will have no time to do so.
Continue Passing Game Success
Baltimore’s offense this season is led by a stellar passing attack. Joe Flacco and his three weapons on offense, Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead, have fused together to become a great air attack. The Ravens must continue their success through the air. It is especially important against the New Orleans Saints. While the Ravens defense is good, the Saints are expected to score points, and the Ravens will need to match it through the air. If the Baltimore Ravens can continue to produce through the passing game, the Ravens will have a good chance to defeat the Saints. If all three of these keys are accomplished by Baltimore, the Ravens will win the game.
The Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints are quickly ascending to join the ranks of the NFL’s best teams. The Ravens boast the NFL’s best defense, while the Saints boast one of the NFL’s best offenses. While the Ravens have the best defense, the unit is not alone in being productive. The Ravens offense has greatly impressed this season, leading many to believe that Baltimore is the most well-rounded team in the NFL. This, while the Saints simply have a mediocre defense, is why the Ravens will prevail on Sunday. The Ravens will pressure Drew Brees throughout the game, and keep up with the Saints offensive attack. Baltimore will do well against the Saints receivers, but not lock them down. The final score will yield a Ravens victory, by a score of 31-27.