Baltimore Ravens vs. New Orleans Saints: Preview and Prediction


It is finally time for football.

The Baltimore Ravens are back at M&T Bank Stadium at 7:30 p.m. tonight for their first preseason game against the New Orleans Saints.

It’s been quite the offseason in the NFL, but much better than years past. There is no video of former Raven Ray Rice beating his then-fiancé. Colts owner Jim Irsay isn’t getting behind the wheel impaired. Greg Hardy hasn’t threatened to kill any women. For some unknown reason, the Deflategate saga continues on from last year into the 2015 season. However, if this is the only major scandal of this offseason, the NFL has cleaned itself up a bit in the past year.

The new league year kicked off with a bang as there were some big-time trade this offseason, and the Saints and Ravens were both a part of the action.

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The Ravens traded Haloti Ngata and a seventh-round NFL draft pick to the Detroit Lions for fourth and fifth-round draft picks in the 2015 NFL draft. The Ravens used the fourth round pick on Za’Darius Smith of Kentucky, a pass rusher they expect to replace the loss of Pernell McPhee. Baltimore then used the Lions fifth-round pick as part of a deal to trade up in the second round to select tight end Maxx Williams. The move was a win-win for all parties involved.

The Saints had one of the more wild offseason in the league as they completely overhauled their roster. They sent Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for center Max Unger and a first-round pick that they used on Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony. They weren’t done there as they also moved guard Ben Grubbs and wide receiver Kenny Stills in a span of a few days.

Both teams will feature new faces on both sides of the ball, but tonight won’t be the night we see many of those names. The starters for both teams will likely play just a series. Tonight is all about the young guys and the players on the bubble trying to make an impression.

For the Ravens, it will be an extensive look at how Matt Schaub can operate the offense. Schaub’s play over the past few years has rapidly regressed, but Marc Trestman feels the veteran signal caller can still get it done if something should happen to Flacco.

There is a lot at stakes tonight even with the starters not expected to play much. Yesterday, we highlighted five keys to a Ravens victory and this morning we touched on the two key positions to watch for this evening.


15. Final. 23. 26. 20

The Ravens will go with a veteran at quarterback and their offensive line depth is better than that of the Saints. Both teams figure to adopt new offensive schemes this season, and while Schaub has been a concern during training camp, the Saints are going to give rookie Garrett Grayson a good amount of reps tonight.

Baltimore’s defense is young, but talented, and they should be able to hold the Saints new-look offense in check. While a win would be nice, the real victory is escaping the game without injury before they head to Philadelphia to hold their joint practices with the Eagles.

It’s finally here, folks. Are you ready for Baltimore Ravens football?!

Next: Ravens Position Battles Set to Heat Up

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