When the Ravenssigned nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu inMay, he was viewed as a depth acquisition in the defensive line and the signinggenerated few headlines. But after the team's open practice in Annapolis onSunday, coach John Harbaugh said that Kemoeatu is in the running for a startingjob, which would be quite the resurgence for a player whose career appeared tobe over a year ago."I wouldsay Kemo is pushing for a starting job," Harbaugh said in Annapolis,adding that, "Hes in great shape, and hes played extremely well."Kemoeatu, 33,spent the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Ravens after theysigned him as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2002. Kemoeatu appeared inall but three games over four seasons with the Ravens from 2002-05 and startedevery game of the 2005 season, when he finished with a career-high 70 tackles. He parlayed thateffort into a five-year, 27 million deal with the Panthers as an unrestricted freeagent, but his time in Carolina ended with an Achilles tendon injury in 2009.He played with the Redskins in 2010, starting 12 games, but that season was cutshort by a shoulder injury, and he was released by the Redskins before the 2011season. Out of footballlast year, Kemoeatu's weight ballooned to 415 pounds, but according toBaltimoreRavens.com, Kemoeatu dropped 70 pounds just to earn a look from theRavens this past offseason. He's listed at 6-foot-5 and 345 pouns on the Ravensofficial roster.Now playing thepart of run-stuffer that he's played well in the past, Kemoeatu is pushingTerrence Cody for a starting spot and ran with the first unit at times duringthe open practice at Navy on Sunday.Cody startedevery game last season, but suddenly he can see a threat to his spot as thestarter. Cody and Kemoeatu were credited with one tackle each in the preseasonopener at Atlanta.Harbaugh mustlove this competition, for it will bring out the best in both players. Thebattle for the starting job will continue at camp this week, and then againwhen the Ravens host Detroit in the preseason home opener on Friday night.
The Baltimore Ravens' top-ranked scoring defense clashed with the New Orleans Saints' top-ranked scoring offense in a game fans will soon never forget.
After a constant back and forth and a chance to tie the game, Justin Tucker missed his first ever point-after-touchdown attempt with seconds to spare.
Here's what you need to know from the Ravens' 24-23 loss over the Saints.
— We knew this game was going to be interesting and the Saints didn't waste any time getting things rolling. Facing a fourth down, New Orleans faked a punt for a five-yard gain from third-string quarterback Taysom Hill. The 20 play, 69-yard drive was highlighted by four fourth-down attempts, two challenges from the Ravens and a fumble recovery by nose tackle Michael Pierce on the final fourth down attempt at the six-yard line.
Not only was the 9:58 drive the longest opening drive by a team this season, it was the longest opening drive to result in zero points since the Browns' 9:59 opening drive Week 1 of 2015, per NFL research.
— Drew Brees continues making history during the 2018 season. The QB threw his 500th career touchdown to former Raven Ben Watson in the second quarter joining Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the prestigious club. Then when the clock hit zero and the Saints came away with the win, Brees also joined Manning and Favre as the third QB to beat all 32 NFL teams.
Prior to Sunday, Brees was 0-4 against the Ravens. He also became the NFL's all-time leading passer back in Week 5.
— It only took seven weeks, but rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson scored his first NFL touchdown with four seconds left in the first half. While it was only from one-yard out, it was nice to see Jackson kick it into gear with the clock ticking. He wasn't the only guy from the Ravens' 2018 draft class to make an impact. Tight end Mark Andrews scored an eight-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to put the team up 17-7 and left guard Bradley Bozeman and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. held down the O-line for much of the afternoon.
— The Ravens' streak of not allowing a second-half touchdown in the 2018 season came to an end Sunday. Drew Brees gave the ball to running back Alvin Kamara at the top of the fourth quarter resulting in a two-yard touchdown. Kamara finished the day with 17 attempts for 64 yards and one touchdown.
— Jimmy Smith's first start of 2018 didn't go quite as well as he'd like.
Smith was hit with two pass interference calls, with one of them coming in the end zone leading to a Saints touchdown and the other on one of many third downs. The cornerback had trouble covering wide receiver Michael Thomas, who heading into Week 7 was ranked fourth in the NFL, all afternoon. One of their meetings resulted in a touchdown to put the Saints up 21-17.
— Then there was, of course, Justin Tuckers' first-ever PAT miss. After Joe Flacco hit John Brown in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown with 0:24 left on the clock, the Ravens were preparing to go into overtime until that wasn't necessary. Tucker, who is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, was on the wrong side of history when his kick went wide right.
From the field to the nosebleeds, M&T Bank Stadium was in shock as the clock expired and the final score was 24-23.
Postgame, Tucker took responsibility for the team's loss while his head coach and teammates all reiterated that a game never comes down to just one play.
The Baltimore Ravens' top-ranked scoring defense clashes with the New Orleans Saints' top-ranked scoring offense in one of the most anticipated games of Week 7.
The Ravens (4-2) are coming off a historic 21-0 shutout win over the Tennessee Titans, while the Saints (4-1) have had a full week of rest after beating up the Redskins in primetime in a dominating 43-19 win.
The Ravens are 5-1 all time against the Saints winning their last three contests and are 3-1 at M&T Bank Stadium. Here are key factors ahead of Sunday's game.
Ravens vs. Saints Week 7 Game Preview
1. Brees can make history vs. Ravens
Drew Brees' road to Hall of Fame enshrinement has not been without obstacles. In Week 7, Brees will face a roadblock he's had issues with in the past. If he can clear it, he will etch his name yet again in the NFL history books.
Since entering the NFL in 2001, Brees is 0-4 against the Ravens, making Baltimore the only NFL team he has never beaten. A win Sunday would make him just the third quarterback to beat all 32 teams, adding him to the list that features only Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. And if that sounds familiar, it's because it it. In Week 5 against the Redskins Brees passed both Favre and Manning to become NFL's all-time leading passer.
But the history-making for Brees won't stop there come Sunday. He enters the matchup with 499 career touchdowns and one more against the Ravens will make him the fifth signal caller in league history to throw 500.
The Ravens defense, which is ranked first in points (12.8), first in yards (270.8), second in passing yards (188) and third in rushing yards (82.8), will have to act fast as Brees hasn't thrown an interception in his last six regular-season games and leads the league in completion percentage, interception percentage, passer rating and fourth quarter passer rating. Against the Ravens, he's 116-for-181 for 1,340 yards, nine touchdowns, eight interceptions and 10 sacks.
2. Flacco, Ravens offense needs to capitalize
Drew Brees isn't the only QB in this matchup making history. Joe Flacco became the third different quarterback in NFL history to complete 25 or more passes in nine consecutive games, completing the feat in the Week 6 victory over Tennessee. He also instilled a much needed confidence boost in receiver Michael Crabtree after dropping the ball literally and figuratively Week 5, connecting with him six times and for one touchdown.
The Saints defense is ranked 26th in points (28.0), 18th in yards (369), 30th in passing yards (297.6) but first in rushing yards (71.4). Those are numbers the Ravens will need to capitalize on.
The Ravens' running game is still searching for its footing, so expect the chemistry between Flacco and the core receivers to strengthen. Flacco also has performed well against the Saints in the past, finishing with 117.7 passer rating in his last two games against the Saints. The Ravens are averaging 28.7 points per game against New Orleans., lighting the Saints up for at least 30 points in the each past three matchups,
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who exited their Week 5 game early with a concussion, was a full participant during Wednesday and Thursday's practices and will be on John Brown, Willie Snead and Crabtree all day long.
Ravens vs. Saints Week 7 Matchup Preview:
1. Jimmy Smith vs. Michael Thomas:
Thomas will be keeping Smith preoccupied all afternoon as the wide receiver is ranked fourth in the NFL with 519 yards, averaging 103.8 yards per game with three touchdowns.
2. Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara vs. Ravens defense:
Referred to as 'Lightning and Thunder,' the two have put up 352 yards, are averaging 53 and 59.8 yards per game respectively and have seven touchdowns.
Ravens vs. Saints Week 7 Injury Report:
Click here to see the latest Ravens-Saints injury report.
Ravens vs. Saints Week 7 How to Watch:
Who: Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints
What: Week 7 regular season
When: Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018, 4:05 p.m. ET
Where: M&T Bank Stadium
TV Channel: FOX
Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV - Try free trial
Radio: WBAL New Radio 1090 and 98Rock
Weather: 55 degrees, mostly sunny
Ravens 2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Week 1: Sun., 9/9. Ravens vs. Bills. Win, 47-3 (1-0)
Week 2: Thur., 9/13 Ravens at Bengals. Loss, 34-23 (1-1)
Week 3: Sun., 9/23 Ravens vs. Broncos. Win, 27-14 (2-1)
Week 4: Sun., 9/30 Ravens at Steelers. Win, 26-14 (3-1)
Week 5: Sun., 10/7 Ravens at Browns. Loss, 12-9 (3-2)
Week 6: Sun., 10/14 Ravens at Titans. Win, 21-0 (4-2)
Week 7: Sun., 10/21 vs. Saints, 4:05 p.m.
Week 8: Sun., 10/28 @ Panthers, 1:00 p.m.
Week 9: Sun., 11/4 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.
Week 10: BYE week
Week 11: Sun., 11/18 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m.
Week 12: Sun., 11/25 vs. Raiders, 1:00 p.m.
Week 13: Sun., 12/2 @ Falcons, 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: Sun., 12/9 @ Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.
Week 15: Sun., 12/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: Sat., 12/22 or Sunday 12/23 @ Chargers, TBD
Week 17: Sun., 12/30 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m.