SAINTS 24, RAVENS 23
The good, bad and ugly from the Saints win over the Ravens
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:
-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.
-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.”
-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.