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.