By Conor Perrett

After finally holding on to a lead, the Baltimore Ravens are starting to hit their stride and have a chance to build upon their AFC North lead. They travel to New Orleans this week, who are looking to win their second consecutive game and get their season back on track. 

New Orleans Saints (3-5)

Power Rankings – 22nd

DVOA Rankings: Offence – 19th, Defence – 12th, ST – 30th: Overall – 22nd

The Saints feel like a team on the rise after their dismantling of the Las Vegas Raiders last week. Their offence has been surprisingly good with Andy Dalton taking over, averaging close to 25 points per game despite several injuries to key players throughout the year. The main culprit to that is Michael Thomas who looks set to miss the rest of the season with a toe injury.

Since setting the NFL record for catches in a single season with 149 in 2019, Thomas has played in just 10 games since. With three of those appearances coming this year, he caught 16 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns.

The story of this game will be whether Dennis Allen can keep the defence playing to how they were last week. Through their first seven games of the season, the Saints defence had failed to hold any team to under 20 points. That changed when they went up against the No. 1 ranked rushing offence by DVOA last week and shut them out. Lucky for them Baltimore also runs a run-heavy offence but it is centred around quarterback Lamar Jackson. Are they up for the task for a second week?

Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

Power Rankings – 5th

DVOA Rankings: Offence – 2nd, Defence – 17th, ST – 1st: Overall – 4th

The Ravens made a huge move before Tuesday’s trade deadline by adding linebacker Roquan Smith to their defence in a trade with the Chicago Bears. This season, the Ravens’ defence has been their main issue, as they have blown multiple double-digit leads late in games. 

Smith is an impact player that should improve that unit, but they’re also getting more help in the outside linebacker department with Tyus Bowser and 2022 draft pick David Ojabo being activated this week.

Ojabo was pick 45 in this year’s draft. He was seen as a first rounder for the majority of the process until a torn Achilles at his Pro Day. Only seven months on from the surgery, he’s looking to show off the pure athleticism we saw in his junior year of college, where he helped Michigan to a playoff appearance. 

Keep an eye on number 90 as he makes his debut and see whether or not he has that same burst off the edge straight away.

The Ravens are also entering a stretch of their schedule where they should be able to keep stacking wins. But with recent injuries to Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews, the offence will need new contributors to stand up and take their place. Another rookie to watch out for is tight-end Isaiah Likely.


The Ravens enter this game as the -3 favourites, as they should do with their 5-2 record. They still look like their explosive selves on offence and have new faces in the defence, which can improve that side of the ball.

Despite all of this, I have a sneaky feeling we could see an upset from the Saints. You never want to base too much off of one game, but we finally saw this Saints defence looking better than they have done in years. 

They are missing Marshon Lattimore again which is never good, but the Ravens ruled out their two best pass catchers as well. Their offence might only rank as 19 in DVOA, but they have been scoring points for fun as of late with Dalton throwing nine touchdowns in his five starts.

This should be a fun high scoring game where both teams look to move the ball down the field, but I’m going to lean towards the home team. 

I worry about how much the Ravens offence will be able to do without Andrews, Bateman and Gus Edwards. Lamar Jackson is always capable of putting a team on his back for a game, but against a good Saints offence and a defence that just shut-out their last opponent, it might be a little too much for him. 

Ravens 20, Saints 24

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s