Happy Purple Friday Baltimore, and welcome back Ravens!
After a three-game road stint, the Ravens finally come back to M&T Bank Stadium for a little home cooking versus the Saints this weekend. Are “The Ravens” the answer to the Nawlin’s chant of “Who dat say gonna beat dem Saints?” Will Baltimore turn the Saints into the ‘Aints for the fourth time with Drew Brees under center? Can Baltimore possibly keep the future Hall of Fame QB at 499 touchdown passes for one more week?
All of that and more, but first – recaps!
Last week in the NFL was chaotic to say the least. Here’s a quick refresher of Week 6 around the league:
— Four teams hit the 40 point mark – and two of them were the Jets and Cowboys?
— The Rams remain the last undefeated team with the Chiefs losing to the Saints. Consequently, the Patriots are now a consensus top-three Power Ranked team and coupled with another Red Sox World Series appearance and a hot start for the Celtics? The entire country outside of the puny state of Massachusetts collectively rolls our eyes and chokes down the vomit…
— The Cowboys put up a 40-spot on the Jags. Blake Bortles did absolutely nothing. Again. Where you at Jalen Ramsey??
— Seattle and Oakland played in London. Nobody watched.
— The Browns got plastered by the Chargers, which is cool and all, but their fans remain valiant in their attempt to prove how great their team is, led by the 55% completion rate of Baker Mayfield. I thought by adding Baker, Landry, Hyde, and Callaway this Cleveland O was going to be so great? Instead, their fans are saying idiotic things like “sign Dez” or “just go trade for OBJ.” Oh, Cleveland…
LAST WEEK: BALTIMORE 21 TITANS 0
This game can be summed up by three stats:
-Marcus Mariota took more sacks (11) than he had completions (10).
-The Titans never made it past the Ravens 37-yard line (twice). The very next play on both drives? A sack drove them back to punt.
-Baltimore had 37 pass attempts versus 35 rushing attempts. True balance.
Ultimately the Ravens smashed Nashville. No, 21 points isn’t exactly destruction, but when your defense is so dominant there’s no need to keep up an aerial attack – simply run clock, save energy, get out of town and start preparing for the Saints.
THIS WEEK: SAINTS (4-1) @ RAVENS (4-2)
Sunday 10/21 @ 1pm
The Saints come marching into Baltimore on Sunday, which means for the next three days we’ll continue to hear the same story lines:
— Brees at 499 touchdown passes, will he get 500?
— Brees 0-4 career vs Baltimore – the only NFL franchise he hasn’t beaten – will he finally do it?
— Ravens defense still hasn’t allowed a 2nd half TD – will Brees break that streak?
It’s literally a case of “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” in Baltimore (if you don’t get that reference you’re too young. Google Brady Bunch). The Ravens have arguably the best defense in the entire NFL in every facet of the game, and the offense in Baltimore hasn’t exactly been the dud we’ve become accustomed to over the years, but nah. Let’s just talk about Brees all week, national media.
But it’s cool Ravens Flock! We’re used to that underdog role! Even at home, where Vegas is only giving Baltimore -2.5, essentially saying the Saints are the favorite here after negating the homefield -3.
This… this isn’t our week. But it’ll be damn close.
The Ravens won’t stifle the Saints offense as much as we hope they will, and Brees will get TD passes 500 & 501 in this game. The run game for the Saints will be stifled, as Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara will have a higher collective receiving total than rushing total, but both end up finding pay dirt in this game.
Baltimore’s offense will keep them in the game throughout the day – courtesy of a trio of Flacco touchdown passes – but ultimately, this is a game the Ravens lose by a Brees game-winning drive, with a field goal as time expires.
Alas, it’s no reason to hang your head when you lose a nail biter to a damn fine Saints team that, by all measures, is the 2nd best team in the NFC.
The Rest of the Slate
They won’t all be duds like last night’s stampede of Broncos versus a rookie QB worse than Josh Allen (Rosen). Here’s the best of the rest:
Carolina @ Philly. Sunday @ 1pm. I’m watching to scout the next game for the Ravens. Run CMC scares me. Cam doesn’t. But it be nice to know what to expect a week from Sunday in Carolina.
Cowboys @ Skins. Sunday 4:25pm. Always a classic, and really it’s two teams that I can’t figure out. The Skins are up and down. The Cowboys I thought just sucked but kicked the ass off of the Jags last week, so who the hell knows? Should be a good one!
Bengals @ Chiefs. Sunday 8:20pm. If Baltimore wins? This game could be the reason the Ravens take over the AFC North. If they lose to the Saints? this game could decide if we stay tied for 1st or lose a game in the division. Either way, a Cincy loss is ideal.
Giants @ Falcons. Monday 8:15pm. One team can beat the Patriots in the playoffs. One can’t.
I’m not even going football-focused this week, quite frankly because it’s my 10-Second Runoff and I don’t have to. Also, it’s October, and Halloween is upon us so:
“Trick or Treat” Power Rankings:
ELITE TREAT: Reeses, Snickers, Twix, Starburst, Butterfinger, Nerds
CLASSIC CANDY: M&Ms, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, Butterfingers
PERMISSIBLE: Dum Dums, 100 Grand, Bottle Caps, OG Twizzlers, Smartees, Blow Pops
WOULD YOU EAT IT? THEN WHY WOULD I?: Plastic Pixie Sticks, Rolo, fireballs, Cow Tails, Pull ‘n Peel Twizzlers, NECCO Wafers, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops
WHY DO YOU HATE CHILDREN: Unlabeled hard candy that looks like it came from a candy dish at a retirement home, those fake fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls, “Take One” bowls, anything homemade, Animal Crackers
YOU’LL PROBABLY GET EGGED AND TP’D AT MIDNIGHT: stationery (pencils, erasers, etc.), nothing because your light is off but you’re visibly watching TV in the living room and you just choose to not participate, religious pamphlets on why Halloween shouldn’t be celebrated, a friend request on social media when you didn’t even give them your name.