Huge road win as Ravens keep pace with AFC North
No this is not the Saints of old, but a road win is a good win in the NFL. Was it perfect? NOPE! Was it as close as the 34-27 score would indicate? NOPE! This game was dominated by the Ravens. The secondary made some mistakes. The defense still gives up the big play, but the team ran the ball and ran it well. They pressured Brees enough to force a critical mistake and Justin Forsett was awesome!
Many said they would have to score 30 plus to win…well 34 got it done. The team averaged 6.7 yards per carry. Joe Flacco completed 75% of his passes with no turnovers. The O-line created gaping holes and protected Joe well (1 sack allowed). Oh and the biggest number of the night…9 for 13 on 3rd down conversions. Well done!
The defense did what it had to do. Does it have holes? YES! BUT, they make teams one dimensional by shutting down the run. Outside of one reverse for 67 yards the team shut down the running game. Mark Ingram, who came into the game as one of the hottest RB’s in the league (3 straight 100 yard efforts) amassed just 27 yards on 11 carries. Yes, they allowed Brees to throw 3 TD’s and over 400 yards through the air, but they made the play (Hill’s pick 6) they had to make. They also accumulated 4 sacks, 8 QB hits and only permitted the Saints to go 5 for 13 on 3rd and 4th down. The goal line stand to start the game was huge.
Special Teams: A
They were fantastic…as always. Tucker is one of the best weapons in the league and Koch averaged 63 yards on 2 punts.
Coaches/Game Plan: A
As ALWAYS they had the team ready to go after the bye week. The game plan was solid on both sides of the ball. Aside from a fumble on the goal line, the team played mistake free football. This win should be a huge catapult towards the rest of the season. The schedule is now in the Ravens favor. On to San Diego in Baltimore.
Oh, and the officiating was absolutely brutal, particularly on that blown decision to not reverse the Kenny Stills “catch” along the sideline. Why even have instant replay?!