Every Wednesday, reporter Jon Meoli will serve up five stats you should know heading into that week’s Ravens game. This week’s stats, unpacked as the Ravens look to prevent a three-game road losing streak when they travel to New Orleans for a primetime clash with the Saints, focus on New Orleans’ passing attack and success in the Monday night game.
109.6 – In nine career Monday Night Football games at home with the Saints, quarterback Drew Brees has a passer rating near 110. The Saints have won their last six such games with Brees at the helm, with those numbers leaping to 142.7 in those six games. Brees completes 70 percent of his passes in Monday night games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, averaging more than 300 yards and two touchdowns. That’s the stuff of dreams for the Ravens -- both quarterback production like that, and the idea of playing Monday night home games.
1,247 – The Saints, on the back of former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, have found the running game that has eluded them for years, with 1,247 rushing yards so far this year. In what will be their 12th game this year, the Saints could top last year’s total of 1,473 rushing yards with what would be a banner day against the Ravens on the ground.
46 – Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is a threat to break any game open, but the Ravens allowed just 46 yards per game to tight ends before the bye week. Players at that position are barely catching more than three balls per game against them, and only have found the end zone twice against the Ravens defense. That’s a credit to inside linebackers C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith, plus the rotating cast of safeties. They’ll have their hands full this week, though.
10 – Former NFC South-dweller Steve Smith has 10 career touchdowns against the Saints, his most against any team, in a total of 23 games played. He averages nearly 65 yards per game against his former division rival, and also has a rushing touchdown against New Orleans. It’ll certainly be a familiar atmosphere for Smith, who is looking to explode back into form after a midseason lull before the bye week.
.150 – It’s a bit played out, but still deserves saying that the NFC South has just a win and a tie in 10 games against the AFC North this season, good for a .150 winning percentage. The Saints have contributed two of those losses, with a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers looming next week. These two divisions matching up has a lot to do with one having all four teams above .500 and the other having everyone in America laughing at it.