Two 49ers defenders ran free on a blitz at Saints quarterback Drew Brees during New Orleans' loss to San Francisco two weeks ago. The play looked like a sure sack, with no chance of Brees being able to do anything about it. But Brees somehow put a nifty spin on the defenders and escaped their collective grasp. He then fired a dart to tight end Jimmy Graham for a touchdown.
For most NFL quarterbacks, that's a sack. Brees is one of the few that somehow finds ways to repeatedly make those kind plays. On Monday night, that will be part of the challenge in defending him. Not only do the Ravens have to worry about the weapons Brees has at his disposal, but they have to worry about pressuring him into taking sacks.
"He's smart -— IQ," Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil told reporters when asked about Brees. "When you have good IQ as a quarterback, you know how to get rid of the ball. He does a great job of knowing where he wants to go pre-snap and making the right checks and putting his offense in the right situations. So, they have a good chemistry there with him and the head coach [Sean Payton]. We're excited, though. We feel good about our staff and about our guys. It's a game that we want."
Dumervil will look to get after Brees and not make the same mistakes the San Francisco defenders did. At 10.5 sacks this season, Dumervil has been a terror to opposing quarterbacks. Brees is different though. You don't think he'll be able to escape certain pressures and then he does. Even though the Saints aren't putting up the same kind of numbers everyone is used to, Brees is still capable of extending a broken play into a big gain.
"His accuracy is really off the charts," Dumervil said. "He has good pocket awareness. He can scramble, he can make all the throws. I think he's a very smart football player. He's very tough to sack. He barely throws interceptions. And he's really good at home, for sure."