Baltimore Ravens are the toughest opponent yet for the Saints
The Baltimore Ravens hosting the Saints is a big deal. A lot has been made that the Saints are the toughest test for the Ravens this season. Less has been made about how the Ravens are the better than any opponent the Saints have played this season:
The Baltimore Ravens are the best team that has stood in the path of the New Orleans Saints. The Saints caught the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before “Fitzmagic” evaporated and the Buccaneers were exposed as pretenders. The Saints lost that game 48-40. In week 2 the Saints barely beat the Cleveland Browns. The Saints had an impressive 43-37 win against the Falcons. The Redskins are 3-2 and are surprisingly the NFC East front runners, but the Saints did exactly what a good team should do, they whooped the Redskins. The other opponent for New Orleans was the Giants, a team that beats themselves on a regular basis.
What does every opponent of the New Orleans Saints have in common thus far? If you guessed they’re not as good as the Baltimore Ravens, you’re today’s winner. The Saints offense is very good. Drew Brees is amazing, Alvin Kamara is as dangerous as it gets and Michael Thomas is an elite receiver. Calling out the Saints weak schedule isn’t calling out the Saints. They are as good as advertised, in fact they have a shot at the Super Bowl.
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It’s just that the Saints are 4-1 and they haven’t played against a contender yet. The Ravens look the part of contenders. They have the best defense in the NFL and their offense is more than functional and sometimes extremely potent. Brees and company haven’t faced a defense with half the power that the Ravens have. A list of the Ravens accolades and achievements isn’t needed. This is a Ravens website, you know them by heart. Saints fans might be surprised.
This game does have an immovable object vs. an unstoppable force kind of feel. It’s got a little bit of the old Peyton Manning vs. Ray Lewis showdown in it. Brees has to go against a talented pass rush that is led by Za’Darius Smith. Michael Thomas and the Saints talented receivers have to go against a great secondary. Sean Peyton has to outwit Don Martindale, who has proven to be a great defensive coordinator.
The thing that people have to remember is that the Ravens can put points on the board. While a shootout favors the Saints, let’s not pretend that the Ravens offense can’t make this interesting if they have to. The Saints give up 28 points a game, a high number for a team of the Saints mettle.
It’s very possible that Brees will test the Ravens defense and will manage to get more against the Ravens than Baltimore is used to giving up. However, an average day for the Ravens defense is a great day for most defenses. It’s also likely that the Ravens can win, even if the Saints offense makes it hard.
The key for the Ravens is to keep the Saints under 30 points. If they do that, the Ravens should be able to best them. The Ravens are in for a test, but don’t forget it’s an equally large test for the Saints if Baltimore brings their A game.