This should be one of those games when you can view the match-ups in a stable environment at this point in the season. But nothing about this year has been stable. The Saints offense and defense are currently in transition due to injuries.
The Ravens have enjoyed success against the Falcons, Bucs and Panthers; but then, again, they should have. In the AFC, they barely beat the Browns and the Titans both of these teams had rookie quarterbacks. They have lost twice to the Bengals and once to the Colts. They have split games with the Steelers having beat them by 20 points only to subsequently lose to the them by 20 points. They have played inconsistently on offense. Torrey Smith has had two catches per game but most have been in the end zone. They have a stout running game with Justin Forsett. New Orleans’ own Jacoby Jones is their return specialist and has had some good returns. On defense, their seven have been pretty stout with a suspect secondary now that Jimmy Smith is out. When recently playing the Steelers their Oline collapsed a lot. And, of course, they commit a lot of personal fouls since they are the Ravens. They will also be coming off of a bye.
On offense, the Saints will be able to take advantage of their secondary if the offensive line gives Drew Brees enough time. Terron Armstead will be matched up against Elvis Dumervil; Ben Grubbs against DeAngelo Tyson; Jon Goodwin against Haloti Ngata; Jahri Evans against Chris Cantyl; and Zach Strief against Terrell Suggs. From what I can see, these are decent match-ups if Jon Goodwin can handle Ngata. If not, then Time Lelito is an option. Goodwin did play against Ngata in the 2013 Super Bowl.
Our running game has been good but the Ravens run defense is good as well. If there is another option at running back other than Mark Ingram, this would be great game to give Ingram a good rotation in the run game.
On defense, our front four will have a tough game of it. Kelechi Osemele (left guard) and Marshal Yanda (right guard) are playing well which leaves opportunities against the tackles for Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette. Away from the line of scrimmage, Joe Flacco seems to rely greatly on Owen Daniels to consistently move the chains. Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown have been spotty in play. Steve Smith still remains a threat but his production has declined the season has worn on.
If Drew has time and Keenan Lewis is healthy, we may be able to sneak in a win. I wish I had a better feel where our team is at this juncture of the season, but I am at a bit of a loss. Our Oline needs to dominate now and our running game needs more than Mark Ingram alone when we need two or three yards. This will be a tough game against a unfamiliar and rested team. It would be grand though for the Drew Brees to beat the Ravens–Brees has never beaten the Ravens — until now?