10 Reasons Ravens Won In New Orleans
The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New Orleans Saints 34-27. The score made it look closer than it actually was. The Ravens dominated the second half. The Ravens did a lot of good things to get the critical win on the road. Here are the reasons that Baltimore prevailed.
1.) The Ravens put on a clinic in the run game. Justin Forsett ran for 182 yards on only 22 carries. Thats an average of 8.2 yards per carry. He had a 38 yard run, Bernard Pierce had a 26 yard carry as well. The Ravens running game allowed the offense to sustain offense; by getting into manageable 3rd downs and opening up options in the passing game.
2.) Joe Flacco was very efficient. The 7th year quarterback went 18/24 for 243 yards and a touchdown. Flacco burned the blitz by throwing to his hot routed receivers. When the Saints gave him 1 on 1 match ups on the outside, he threw it deep to his receivers. Flacco had a very veteran savvy filled performance.
3.) The Ravens offense remained balanced and spread the ball around. The Ravens had 32 rushing attempts and 24 passing attempts, a perfect balance in the eyes of Gary Kubiak. The passing game was all about taking what the defense gave them. 7 different players had a reception. Torrey Smith had 5 receptions for 98 yards; while Steve Smith Sr. had 4 receptions for 89 yards.
4.) The offensive line played well. The line picked up the blitz very well. Blitzing is a good way to stop the run, but it helped Ravens break a few yards. When the Ravens blocked well at the point of attack, and Forsett chose the right lane, there was less opposition in the second level of the defense. There were a few miscues in pass protection, but it was pretty solid against a great helping of blitz.
5.) The Saints could not get the Ravens offense off the field. The Ravens went 9/13 on third down conversions and averaged 7.4 yards per offensive play. The Ravens had 2 drives that took over 6 minutes off the game clock and one drive that took just over 4 minutes.
6.) The Ravens supplied great pass rush on Drew Brees. Brees was sacked 4 times. The only interception thrown by Brees was a forced throw under pressure. The inaccuracy of the pass allowed Will Hill to intercept it and turn it into 6 for Baltimore. Terrell Suggs became just the 31st player to have over 100 sacks since sacks became a tracked statistic. It was a nice milestone for one of Baltimore’s favorite living legends.
7.) The Ravens red zone defense was extraordinary. On the first drive of the game New Orleans got just outside the goal line quickly. The Ravens held the Saints pointless on the opening possession. On the fourth down play Haloti Ngata blew back the center and the running back had nowhere to go. the Saints were 2-5 in the red zone and they settled for three field goals.
8.) Will Hill made big plays and was the Ravens answer to Jimmy Graham. Hill not only had the pick 6, but he knocked a critical touchdown pass out of Jimmy Graham’s reach. Hill was not perfect but he made some of the biggest plays of the game. Anthony Levine and Danny Gorrer also played well at the cornerback position. Drew Brees was going to have his yards, but the secondary was key in the crucial stops that helped Baltimore win.
9.) The Ravens did a phenomenal job on special teams. Kamar Aiken ended the late game drama by leaping and recovering the onside kick. Justin Tucker made 2 field goals including a 55 yard kick. He nailed the 55 yard field goal like it was easy, it would have been good from 65 yards and it was right down the middle. Sam Koch did a fantastic job punting. He had 2 punts that flipped field position, one of them was a 73 yard punt.
10.) The Ravens defense had 6 tackles for a loss. C.J. Mosley led the way with 3. Tackles for a loss and sacks can be drive killers. With the Ravens 4 sacks, thats 10 big plays in the backfield. The Ravens front seven gave up a few big runs. The defense gave up several big plays as a whole. However the Ravens front seven made many big plays in every quarter.