By Rob Long

The last meaningful game the Baltimore Ravens played in New Orleans they won the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers. That game had lots of drama from the electrical failure to the far too exciting ending.

Monday night will not decide a championship but it is a VERY important game for both teams. For the Saints, even though they are 4-6, they have a chance to take sole possession of first place in the NFC South with a win against Baltimore. Yes, a five win team could sit atop of their division going into the Thanksgiving weekend.

For the Ravens, they are the only team in the AFC North with just six wins. The Cincinnati Bengals are in first place at 7-3-1 while the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns are both tied at 7-4. The Ravens are trying to keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers who are 7-4 as well. There’s a log jam in the AFC and the Ravens are trying to stay in the pack with hopes of breaking out of the pack later on. They’ll need to handle business tonight or fall back to 6-5 with the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens are also the only team in this scenario with a losing record (3-4) in the conference.

Drew Brees and the Saints have lost two consecutive games in the New Orleans Super Dome. While I could not imagine them losing two in a row, I certainly can’t imagine them losing three in a row. The flip side of that is the Saints, like their entire division, are a bad football team. Yes, they are who their record says they are. If you’re 1-2, you can say you’re better than your record, but if you’re 4-6 that usually suggests that’s who you are.

The difference in this game will be Drew Brees, who’s won 12 consecutive prime-time home games. While Brandin Cooks is out for the year and Marques Colston isn’t quite what he use to be, the Saints still have Jimmy Graham. And before we overstate how bad Colston is, he does have 34 receptions at just under 16 yards per catch.

Mark Ingram is having a very good season with over 600 yards rushing and 4.5 yards per carry. He only has three carries of over 20 yards but he’s moved the chains 31 times on 138 rushing attempts. He could give New Orleans some balance in their offense.

The Ravens will have to put at least 30 points on the scoreboard to win this game. I’m just not sure if they’ll actually do that. They can if they run the ball and not turn it over.

Saints 27 Ravens 24


 


 

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