NEW ORLEANS — The Baltimore Ravens (6-3) received their third straight and fourth out of their previous 5 with a 27-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints, growing their lead atop the AFC North.
Baltimore’s protection managed the sport, recording 4 sacks, together with 2.5 by Justin Houston.
The Saints (3-6) have misplaced three of 4.
The Ravens’ protection delivered its most dominant efficiency of the season when the crew wanted it probably the most. The Ravens held the Saints to 238 yards, which tied the fewest they’ve given up this yr.
Outside linebacker Justin Houston delivered 2.5 sacks and a fourth-quarter interception. He turned the primary participant in Ravens historical past with three consecutive multiple-sack video games. Houston was the crew’s high playmaker because the protection did not enable a landing till 4 minutes had been left within the recreation.
This was a well timed effort by the protection as a result of its offense is extraordinarily banged up. Lamar Jackson performed with out Pro Bowl tight finish Mark Andrews (inactive with shoulder and knee accidents), No. 1 extensive receiver Rashod Bateman (out for season with foot damage) and his high two working backs (J.Ok. Dobbins is on injured reserve with a knee damage and Gus Edwards was inactive with a hamstring damage). Still, the Ravens received their third straight recreation and head into the bye with a one-game lead over the Cincinnati Bengals for first place within the AFC North.
Pivotal play: Houston’s interception within the fourth quarter. With 8:24 left within the recreation, the Ravens sealed their fourth win in 5 video games with the kind of game-closing play that had eluded them this season. Defensive finish Brent Urban deflected Andy Dalton’s move, and Houston pulled within the interception. Baltimore shortly transformed that turnover into Kenyan Drake’s second landing run, staking the Ravens to a 27-6 lead. It was Baltimore’s eleventh consecutive recreation with a pressured turnover, which is the longest energetic streak within the NFL. Houston is the primary participant in Ravens historical past to document 2.5 sacks and an interception in the identical recreation.
Promising pattern: The Ravens proceed to be one of many fastest-starting groups within the NFL. Baltimore turned the primary crew to guide by double digits at any level in every of its first 9 video games of a season for the reason that 2011 Green Bay Packers, in response to ESPN Stats & Information analysis. The Ravens are simply the third crew to take action previously 20 years, becoming a member of the 2009 New Orleans Saints and 2011 Packers — each of whom began 9-0. This simply reveals how shut the Ravens had been to an ideal begin in the event that they hadn’t had three fourth-quarter meltdowns.
Silver lining: Jackson was spreading the ball round. Without his high two targets — Andrews and Bateman — Jackson turned extra unpredictable in distributing the ball. He hit eight totally different gamers on his first eight passes and completed with throws to 10 gamers, tying a profession excessive. Andrews and Bateman accounted for 39% of the Ravens’ receptions within the first eight video games, and whereas Baltimore is extra harmful with them, the Ravens gave the impression to be extra balanced with out them. — Jamison Hensley
Underrated statistic to know: Jackson is the second participant in NFL historical past to document 100 passing touchdowns and 20 dashing touchdowns earlier than turning 26, becoming a member of Josh Allen. Both had been drafted in 2018.
Next recreation: vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Nov. 20)
New Orleans Saints
The Saints (3-6) hoped that they had turned a nook following their dominant efficiency towards the Las Vegas Raiders final week. Instead, they merely discovered disappointment in a prime-time loss.
Many of the identical issues the Saints handled earlier within the season returned. Quarterback Andy Dalton struggled, and the offensive line did not shield him, notably after the lack of middle Erik McCoy to damage. Dalton definitely did not assist his long-term case because the Saints’ beginning quarterback by throwing a late interception, nor was he helped by the Saints’ run recreation, which did not fare nicely towards the Ravens’ protection.
The Saints largely had no reply for Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who made various spectacular performs to flee tackles all night time. Now the Saints must regroup on a brief week with the Pittsburgh Steelers up subsequent on the street.
QB breakdown: Saints coach Dennis Allen dedicated to Dalton at quarterback so long as the offense saved performing, and it definitely took a large step again towards the Ravens. Dalton wanted an enormous recreation to show the three interceptions in prime time vs. the Cardinals in Week 7 had been a fluke, however as an alternative the offense sputtered once more. Dalton doubled his season sack whole and was picked off within the fourth quarter. He additionally will lament lacking a wide-open Marquez Callaway in the long run zone on the finish of the primary half. Callaway had 5.95 yards of separation on the play, making it solely the second incompletion this season on an finish zone throw with over 5 yards of separation.
Troubling pattern: The damage bug got here again to chunk the Saints once more, with McCoy, beginning linebacker Pete Werner and beginning defensive finish Marcus Davenport all leaving with accidents. The Saints have been short-handed all season, notably on the offensive aspect of the ball, so this may be one other blow if all three find yourself out for any size of time. The lack of Werner would harm probably the most, as he has taken an enormous leap ahead in his second season and has been a key piece of the protection. — Katherine Terrell
Underrated statistic to know: Dalton has a .231 win share in prime time (6-20), the worst of any quarterback since 2000. Kerry Collins is 5-16 for a .238 share.
Next recreation: at Steelers (1 p.m. ET, Nov. 13)