While the Saints are currently in the midst of a six-game winning streak, their streak will be put to the ultimate test on Sunday when they travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens on Sunday.
The last three games on the Saints schedule (Ravens, Falcons, Buccaneers) will truly test the team before the playoffs begin, and their first exam is on Sunday. For the past decade, Baltimore has always had a stout defense, and although some of their key defenders like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are starting to get older, they still have one of the NFL’s elite defenses. After playing the likes of the Rams, Seahawks, and Panthers on their current winning streak, a battle against the Ravens hard-hitting defense will really show where the Saints stand this season.
While the Ravens have traditionally struggled on offense, they have made strides this season with a slew of playmakers. Ray Rice, their starting running back, is from the same mold as former NFL great Marshall Faulk and is dangerous as both a rusher and receiver. The Ravens also have a dangerous group of receivers, from Derrick Mason to Anquan Boldinto TJ Houshmandzadeh, Baltimore has an array of players who can make big plays. Although their quarterback, Joe Flacco, has had some growing pains this season, their offense is definitely dangerous.
To make Sunday’s challenge even greater for the Saints, they are playing in a hostile outdoor environment. The Ravens’ homes stadium is not easy on opposing teams, and the Saints will once again be playing outdoors in December in a northern city.
After their run to the Super Bowl last year, the Saints have experience playing in hostile and difficult environments, so they shouldn’t be too intimidated playing in Baltimore. However, they will have a tall task on their hands to defeat the Ravens.