Ravens Defeat Saints, 34-27
Justin Forsett #29 of the Baltimore Ravens is pursued by Keenan Lewis #28 and Pierre Warren #42 of the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 24, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The New Orleans Saints fell at home on Monday night, dropping a 34-27 decision to the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The loss marks the third-consecutive home defeat for New Orleans, marking the first time that has happened since the 2007 season.
The setback also keeps the Saints in a first-place tie with the Atlanta Falcons atop the NFC South.
New Orleans had the first opportunity to score, taking the opening kickoff, and moving the football to set-up a first-and-goal at the Baltimore 1-yard line, but failed to score, after going for it on fourth-and goal from the 1-yard line.
The Ravens got on the scoreboard first, when Joe Flacco threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith, capping off a 9-play, 97-yard drive, to give them a 7-0 lead at the 8:13 mark of the first quarter.
The Saints tied the game, 7-7, at the 3:26 mark of the opening quarter, when Drew Brees connected with Jimmy Graham on a 10-yard scoring strike, ending a 5-play, 80-yard drive.
Baltimore regained the lead at the 9:14 mark of the second quarter, when Justin Forsett scored on a 13-yard touchdown run, culminating a 4-play, 69-yard drive, to gain a 14-7 advantage.
New Orleans drew closer at the 4:00 mark of the second quarter, when Shayne Graham made good on a 20-yard field goal attempt, completing an 11-play, 78-yard drive, to trim the Baltimore lead to 14-10.
The Saints grabbed their first lead of the game with only :17 remaining in the half, when Brees threw his second touchdown of the half, this one to Marques Colston from 26 yards away, putting an exclamation point on an 8-play, 81-yard drive, to give them a 17-14 advantage as the two teams headed into the locker room at halftime.
New Orleans outgained Baltimore, in terms of total yards in the first half, 335-266, including a 251-120 advantage in passing yards, while the Ravens finished the half with a 146-84 edge on the ground.
Brees led the way for the Saints over the first 30 minutes, completing 19-of-24 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns, while Forsett paced the Ravens, rushing for 115 yards, including a touchdown, on 13 carries.
The Ravens tied the game on their first possession of the second half, when Justin Tucker was successful on a 31-yard field goal, capping off a 13-play, 67-yard drive, to even the score, 17-17, at the 8:30 mark of the third quarter.
Baltimore's defense then put the Ravens on top, as Will Hill intercepted an errant Brees pass, and took it back 44 yards for a touchdown, giving them a 24-17 lead at the 4:59 mark of the third period.
The Ravens extended their lead to ten points, their biggest of the night, at the 10:59 mark of the fourth quarter, when Tucker nailed a long 55-yard field goal, completing a 12-play, 47-yard drive, to make the score 27-17.
The Saints cut that lead to a touchdown on their next possession, when Graham drilled through a 34-yard field goal, ending a 10-play, 64-yard drive, trimming the Baltimore lead to 27-20 with 6:33 remaining.
Baltimore put the game away at the 2:53 mark, when Forsett scored his second rushing touchdown of the game, this one from 20 yards away, capping off a 6-play, 80-yard drive, giving the Ravens a 34-20 advantage.
The Saints scored a touchdown with only :40 remaining, when Brees tossed a short 2-yard touchdown pass to Graham, trimming the Baltimore lead to 34-27.
New Orleans failed to recover the on-side kick however, and the Ravens went on to the 7-point win.
New Orleans wound up outgaining Baltimore, in terms of total yards, 525-449, including a 399-234 advantage through the air, while the Ravens finished with a 215-126 edge on the ground.
Forsett led the way for the Ravens, accumulating 182 rushing yards, including two touchdowns, on 22 carries.
In a losing cause for the Saints, Brees completed 35-of-45 passes for 420 yards, including three touchdowns and one interception.
With the victory, Baltimore improved to 7-4 on the season, while New Orleans fell to 4-7.
The Saints return to play on Sunday, when they travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.