SAINTS 24, RAVENS 23

The good, bad and ugly from the Saints win over the Ravens

Drew Brees has beaten all 32 teams. Michael C Hebert/Saints team site

This game pitted the highest scoring offense against one of the toughest defenses. The Saints won this battle of attrition 24-23. It was a very entertaining game that went down to the wire. Let’s dive into some things I observed:

The Good

-Drew Brees threw his 500th touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson in the second quarter. He now joins Peyton Manning (533), Brett Favre (508), and Tom Brady (504) in the 500 passing touchdown club. He’s one of the best of this generation, but he’s still not on the Mount Rushmore of quarterbacks.

-The defense played well, until the final drive. Before that drive, they had given up 270 yards. But perhaps the biggest improvement was the fact that the longest pass they gave up was only 13 yards. This defense is known for giving up the big play and the Ravens are known for the big play this season. Consider this a win.

-The Saints were able to score more points (24) and gain more yards (340) than the stingy Ravens defense is used to giving up. They came into the game giving up 13 points a game and only 271 yards per game. Great offense beat great defense in this case.

The Bad

-Marcus Williams and Marshon Lattimore collided on a play in which one of them should have come down with an interception. A miscommunication or no one calling for the ball led to the ball falling incomplete as they collided.

-Alvin Kamara signaled for a fair catch on a punt just inside the 10 yard line. He tried to fake out the Ravens’ coverage team to let the ball roll in the end zone for a touchback. Good idea, except Ravens receiver Chris Moore was standing at the one where he scooped up the ball and downed it. As my grandfather would say “that boy got a fart on his brain.”

The Ugly

-In their opening drive, the Saints went for it on fourth down four times, ran 20 plays, and took over 10 minutes off the clock…and got nothing out of it. Taysom Hill pitched an option to Kamara on fourth and 1 from the Ravens’ four yard line. Kamara fumbled because of the bad pitch and the Ravens recovered. Payton is known for gambling, but this was a terrible idea considering the Ravens have a top five defense

-Saints left guard Andrus Peat is in concussion protocol. His backup Josh LeRibeus went down with a lower leg injury. Cameron Tom was left to fill in at left guard. Being down to a third stringer on the interior of the line with a sub-six foot quarterback is scary.

-Ravens kicker Justin Tucker missed the game-tying extra point. Extra points are missed all the time, but this was the first of his career and a game was on the line. Sucks to lose this way, but it happens.

Brees has officially beaten all 32 teams in the league. He camethisclose to not winning this game and needed all kinds of help, but it got done. 5-1 after the start to the season they had is impressive, but this team has chinks in its armor that need to be fixed. Super Bowl contenders don’t usually have to outscore their opponents. Nonetheless, they’re on their way to making some serious noise after appearing to correct some early season issues.     

 

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Framber Valdez was dominant on Thursday. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

The Astros came into this game against the Rangers looking to take the finale of the 3-game series, and they did exactly that.

Framber Valdez had another classic performance, pitching seven innings while allowing zero runs and four hits. Valdez also recorded 8Ks and 1BB.

On offense, it was a big day for Yuli Gurriel who bounced back with 3 hits after going 0-5 the previous night. Alex Bregman and Martin Maldonado both went yard, hitting 2 and 3-run bombs respectively.

Maldonado's came in the bottom of the second inning, giving the Astros a 3-0 lead.

Bregman's put the Astros on top 5-0 in the bottom of the 5th.

The Astros added two more runs in the 7th after Bregman singled to drive in a run, and a sac fly from Aledmys Diaz.

Heading into the 8th inning, Seth Martinez took over for Valdez protecting a 7-0 lead. That lead wouldn't last long after Martinez allowed a couple of base runners and gave up 2 runs off a pair of singles from Nathaniel Lowe and Leody Taveras.

The Astros headed to the bottom of the 8th up 7-2.

After a scoreless bottom of the 8th, Rafael Montero came in to close the game out in the 9th.

Montero gave up a solo homer to Marcus Semien with 2 outs in the 9th before shutting the door.

Final: Astros 7, Rangers 3

Next up: Oakland comes to Minute Maid to play the Astros Friday night at 7:10PM.



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