Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints: Five Keys to Victory

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Can you feel it? The excitement that football brings? We are just hours away from the Baltimore Ravens finally getting back on the playing field and on our televisions.

This offseason was much different than the turmoil that surrounded camp last season following the Ray Rice debacle. John Harbaugh and his team had a quiet offseason with no distractions, with the focus being squarely on football. 

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The Ravens have some changes to their team for the 2015 season. The biggest change this offseason is the departure of Gary Kubiak to the Denver Broncos and former Chicago Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman taking over the offense. Torrey Smith and Pernell McPhee have headed elsewhere, and the team added Kendrick Lewis and Kyle Arrington to the secondary. Baltimore also nailed the NFL Draft with another talented group of rookies added to the mix.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints have undergone some big changes of their own. One of the more shocking offseason trades was the trade of Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks. They also brought in former Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller in to take over the role Darren Sproles once had.

This game is one of the rare cases where an AFC and NFC team have gotten to know each other’s style of play. The teams squared off twice last season, once in preseason and again in the regular season. The Ravens won both contests, but this is a new season with a new team.

Both team’s starters won’t see much action in the first preseason game, but these games do have a purpose. The hope for the Ravens offense is to move the ball effectively in their first game under Trestman. The defense wants to shut down one of the better offenses in the NFL. Special teams play is a determining factor for a lot of the players on the bubble. With that, here are the five things to watch for in the Ravens first preseason game.

Next: What Will the Offense Look Like?

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