The Ravens are the only team Drew Brees has never beaten, and in this classic offense vs. defense matchup, he has his work cut out for him.
Brees, who became the N.F.L.’s career passing leader in his last start, is well-rested after a bye-week and has shown no signs of slowing down, with his average of 331.6 passing yards a game representing his highest effort since 2011. He stands an extremely good chance of getting the one touchdown pass he needs to become the fourth player in N.F.L. history to have thrown 500 — Brees has failed to throw a touchdown pass just 33 times in 254 career games — but keeping up his yardage average could be tough against a defense allowing just 214.7 yards a game.
The New Orleans defense is hard to figure out. In a Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay and a Week 3 overtime win over Atlanta the Saints were fairly awful, allowing a combined 77 points, but in the team’s other three games they have allowed an average of just 18.3 a game. They have been stronger against the run than the pass and that could be an issue against the pass-heavy Ravens.
Joe Flacco is having one of the two or three best statistical seasons of his career and at 33 is still firmly in his prime, but he has thus far shown a willingness to get creative on offense with formations in which the ball is snapped to Lamar Jackson. Seeing the 6-foot-6, and fairly stiff, Flacco line up at wide receiver on occasion has been fairly amusing, but with Jackson averaging 5.5 yards a carry, and the threat always looming of him pulling off a big passing play, the different looks are likely benefiting the team as a whole.