The Baltimore Ravens led the New Orleans Saints 27-24 with a few minutes left in the game and most fans on the edge of their seats, waiting for Saints QB Drew Brees to drive his team down the field for either the game-tying field goal or even worse, the game-winning touchdown. Ravens punter Sam Koch pinned New Orleans down deep in their own territory and Brees lined up under center to do what he has done so many times before. Alas, for Saints' fans, it was just not to be, as the Ravens held the Saints as the defense came up with the interception on fourth down to stop them and placekicker Billy Cundiff put the final nail in the coffin with a short FG for the final score.
That last three-pointer disappointed me, as I had the Ravens winning 27-24 in my Sunday morning post here.
Ray Rice was the team's workhorse and he responded with what was easily his finest game of the season, finishing with 153 rushing yards and one TD, as well as 80 receiving yards and another TD. He had a 50 yard run and a 32 yard pass reception to constantly gash the Saints defense with huge gains at critical points of the game.
QB Joe Flacco had a good enough game with ten completions in 20 attempts for 172 yards and two TD passes and just as important, zero interceptions for the second straight game. On the other side of the ball, Drew Brees was 29 for 46 for 267 yards three TD passes and the one interception on the Saints' last offensive play of the game. However, it was the difference in the two team's running attacks, with the Ravens rushing for 208 yards and the Saints being held to 27 yards rushing.
Many people, including a lot of local media and many fans, felt that the Ravens could not keep up with a Saints team that had won six in a row and was 6-1 on the road this season, especially when the Ravens had blown fourth quarter leads on a regular basis this season. However, Baltimore protected their house, and proved they can play with the big boys and win, stand at 10-4, virtually assured of a playoff spot and stay within striking distance of the Pittsburgh Steelers in case they falter in their last three regular season games.
More to follow but for not Ravens fans can relish a great win and plan on finishing out their schedule with two tough division contests starting next week at the Cleveland Browns. GO RAVENS!!!