What the Saints Said After Their 24-23 Win - Ryan Mink
Head Coach Sean Payton
(on being aggressive on fourth down): “There’s a plan that you want to take, and it’s not with reckless abandon. It’s with a confident approach. I felt like, on the fourth down call in the red area, I felt like we had the first down on [Mark] Ingram’s third and a yard run. We hadn’t obviously, and, in hindsight, I would kick the field goal. My mind was prepared that we had gotten the first down, but we wanted to come in and play that way. We didn’t think it would be a high-scoring game and points would be a premium and field position would be more of a premium. We wanted to play as much as we could on their half of the 50 [yard line].”
QB Drew Brees
(on facing the Ravens’ blitzes): “They had some elaborate blitzes prepared for us. They were ready with some new stuff. We were fortunate to beat the blitz a few times, for positive yards. You know what they say about ‘live by the blitz, you can also die by the blitz.’”
RB Alvin Kamara
(on the Saints’ offense vs. the Ravens’ defense): “We won, so I really don’t care. It is what it is. I think we’re the best offense. I don’t know about their defense, but they’re pretty good.”
RB Mark Ingram
(on if they were aware that the Ravens hadn’t given up a second-half touchdown): “We were aware they were 13-0 when leading at the half. Now they’re 13-1. That’s a really good team. Good team, good coaching. They don’t take anything from anybody. Really good program, and it’s a great win for us.”
WR Michael Thomas
(on his touchdown catch): “Jimmy [Smith] is a great competitor. We were competing all day. I just executed on it; running a great route. Drew had trust in me and I made a play for my teammates.”
After Week 7, Elo models give New Orleans a 41-percent chance to earn a playoff bye and 10-percent chance to win the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the Ravens have fallen to a 36-percent chance to win the division and 62-percent to make the postseason.
Justin Tucker’s unthinkable miss means no kickers are safe - Jamison Hensley
There have been 94 missed kicks this season, which ties for the most through Week 7 over the last 25 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The only season that had this many misses was 2016.
”I felt like I hit it well,” Tucker said. “But, at the end of the day, the ball just didn’t go through, and that’s all it needs to do to keep the game going.”
“I’ll just say we’ve got all the confidence in the world in Justin,” guard Marshal Yanda. “We’re not even worried about it. It is what it is. It happened. I can tell you right now that I have 100 percent confidence in Justin. He’s our guy, and he’s made a ton of kicks for us, and I’m not worried [one] bit about [him].”
Tucker is the most accurate field-goal kicker in NFL history, converting 89.9 percent of his tries (215-of-239). He has the most field goals made as well as the most 40-plus and 50-plus yard kicks since entering the league as an undrafted rookie in 2012.
Coming through in the clutch has been one of Tucker’s strengths. His 92.7 career field-goal success rate (105-of-113) in the second half or overtime ranks as the best mark of all-time.
Hensley also noted the wind was blowing at 14-miles per hour when Justin Tucker missed the first extra point of his illustrious career.
Baltimore Ravens playing time analysis: No defensive snaps for Bowser, RBs rotate and more - Aaron Kasinitz
Steady rotations on offense
The Ravens rotated four wide receivers, four tight ends and three running backs into the game regularly. The healthy playing time distribution helped the team maintain its balanced attack. It’s of note, though, that Alex Collins had played fewer snaps than Javorius Allen on several occasions this season, because Collins remains the more productive ball carrier. Allen is more of a pass-blocking, route-running and short-yardage specialist.
Hayden Hurst’s 18 snaps catch the eye, too. The first-round pick has now played in three NFL games after returning from foot surgery, and it’d be reasonable to expect him to shoulder a heavier workload at some point soon. Hurst finished Sunday without a catch but had a costly drop in the fourth quarter.
John Brown led these skill positions by lining up on 50 of 68 snaps. He was followed by Michael Crabtree (48), Willie Snead (44), Nick Boyle (32), Chris Moore (30) and Buck Allen (30).
NFL Week 7 Sunday Standouts: Offense - Ben Linsey
T TERRON ARMSTEAD, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Key signature stat: Didn’t allow a single pressure on 31 pass-blocking snaps
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was only under pressure on 19.4 percent of his dropbacks against the Ravens, and his left tackle Armstead had a lot to do with that. Armstead did not allow a single pressure on 31 pass-blocking snaps against the Ravens stout defense. To go along with that, he helped pave the way for Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Taysom Hill in the run game with a strong run-blocking performance.
WR JOHN BROWN, BALTIMORE RAVENS
Key signature stat: Averaged 3.62 yards per route run
Joe Flacco had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 when targeting Brown on Sunday. Brown caught all 7 of his targets for 134 yards and a touchdown. The shocking part of his performance, though, was that Brown turned in that production without the use of his biggest threat – the deep ball. Brown was not targeted once on a pass that was 20 or more yards downfield. Despite that, he still leads the NFL in such targets with 21.
John Brown has produced 27-percent of the Ravens passing yards so far this season. For comparison, Antonio Brown has gained 24-percent of Steelers passing yards.