Baltimore Ravens win third straight, shut down New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS — The Baltimore Ravens (6-3) earned their third straight win and fourth of their last five with a 27-13 win over the New Orleans Saints, extending their lead over the AFC North.

The Baltimore defense controlled the game and recorded four sacks, including 2.5 from Justin Houston.

The Saints (3-6) have lost three out of four.


Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens defense delivered its most dominant performance of the season when the team needed it most. The Ravens held the Saints for 238 yards, which was the least they’ve given up this year.

Outside linebacker Justin Houston delivered 2.5 sacks and an interception in the fourth quarter. He became the first player in Ravens history to have three consecutive multi-sack games. Houston was the team’s best playmaker as the defense didn’t allow a touchdown until four minutes from the end of the game.

This was a timely effort from the defense as their offense is extremely battered. Lamar Jackson played without Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews (inactive with shoulder and knee injuries), No. 1 wide receiver Rashod Bateman (for the season with a foot injury), and his top two running backs (JK Dobbins is with a knee in reserve ). injury and Gus Edwards was inactive with a hamstring injury). Still, the Ravens won their third straight game and go bye a one-game lead over the Cincinnati Bengals to take first place in the AFC North.

key game: Houston’s fourth-quarter interception. With 8-24 in the game, the Ravens sealed their fourth win in five games with the kind of game-closing game they’ve eluded this season. Defensive end Brent Urban deflected Andy Dalton’s pass and Houston picked up. Baltimore quickly turned that turnover into Kenyan Drake’s second touchdown run, giving the Ravens a 27-6 lead. It was Baltimore’s 11th straight game with a forced turnover, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. Houston is the first player in Ravens history to have 2.5 sacks and an interception in the same game.

Promising trend: The Ravens continue to be one of the fastest starting teams in the NFL. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Baltimore became the first team to lead in double digits at any point in each of the first nine games of a season since the 2011 Green Bay Packers. The Ravens are only the third team to do so in the last 20 years, joining the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2011 Packers – both starting 9-0. This just goes to show how close the Ravens were to a perfect start if they didn’t have three meltdowns in the fourth quarter.

silver lining: Jackson passed the ball around. Without his two top targets – Andrews and Bateman – Jackson became more erratic when passing the ball. He hit eight different players on his first eight passes and ended up shooting against 10 players in a career high. Andrews and Bateman accounted for 39% of the Ravens’ receptions in their first eight games, and while Baltimore is more dangerous with them, the Ravens seemed more balanced without them. — Jameson Hensley

Underestimated statistics to get to know: Jackson is the second player in NFL history to record 100 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns before turning 26 and joining Josh Allen. Both were designed in 2018.

Next game: vs Panthers (1pm ET, Nov 20)


Saints of New Orleans

The Saints (3-6) hoped they had turned the corner after their dominant display against the Las Vegas Raiders last week. Instead, they simply found disappointment in a prime-time loss.

Many of the same issues the Saints dealt with earlier in the season returned. Quarterback Andy Dalton struggled and the offensive line didn’t protect him, especially after center Erik McCoy was out through injury. Dalton certainly didn’t help his long-term fall as the Saints quarterback by throwing a late interception, nor did the Saints’ run game not going well against the Ravens defense help him.

The Saints largely had no answer to Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who made a series of impressive plays to escape tackles throughout the night. Now the Saints must regroup with the Pittsburgh Steelers next on the road in a short week.

QB collapse: Saints coach Dennis Allen signed Dalton as quarterback while the offense was performing, and against the Ravens it certainly took a big step backwards. It took Dalton a big game to prove that the three primetime interceptions against the Cardinals in Week 7 were a fluke, but instead the offense stuttered again. Dalton doubled his season sack overall and got picked up in the fourth quarter. He will also lament missing a wide-open Marquez Callaway in the end zone late in the first half. Callaway was 5.95 yards behind in the game, making it only the second miss on an endzone throw over five yards off this season.

Worrying trend: The injury bug returned to bite the Saints again, with McCoy, starting linebacker Pete Werner and starting defense end Marcus Davenport all leaving with injuries. The Saints have been undermanned all season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. So this would be another blow if all three were out for any length of time. Losing Werner would hurt the most as he made a huge leap forward in his second season and was a key part of the defence. – Katherine Terrell

Underestimated statistics to get to know: Dalton has a .231 win ratio in prime time (6-20), the worst of any quarterback since 2000. Kerry Collins is 5-16 for a .238 percent.

Next game: at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Nov. 13) Baltimore Ravens win third straight, shut down New Orleans Saints

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