Week 12: Ravens at Saints first look _lowres

Associated Press photo by Patrick Semansky -- Ravens receiver Steve Smith has 49 catches for 728 yards and four touchdowns this season. The Saints are very familar with Smith, who played for NFC South rival Carolina from 2001-'13. In those 24 games, he caught 99 passes for 1,493 yards and 10 touchdowns.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m., Monday

WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome


RADIO: WWL-AM, 870 in New Orleans; WDGL-FM, 98.1 in Baton Rouge; KMDL-FM, 97.3 in Lafayette

RECORDS: Ravens are 6-4; Saints are 4-6.

LAST WEEK: Baltimore was enjoying their off week, giving them 16 days to prepare for the Saints, who have lost their past two games, both of which were at home. The Saints defense allowed the Bengals (6-3-1) to convert 9-of-13 on third-down situations. The Saints offense scored only one touchdown out of three trips inside Cincinnati’s 20-yard line before losing 27-10.

COACHES: Ravens, John Harbaugh, seventh season (68-38); Saints, Sean Payton, eighth season (77-45)


(League rank in parentheses)


Total yards: Saints, 424.5 (2nd); Ravens, 364.8 (12th)

Rushing: Saints, 124.7 (8th); Ravens, 124.1 (10th)

Passing: Saints, 299.8 (3rd); Ravens, 240.7 (16th)

Points: Saints, 26.1 (T-7th); Ravens, 26.1 (T-7th)


Total yards: Saints, 369.9 (20th); Ravens, 335.7 (11th)

Rushing: Saints, 114.7 (T-19th); Ravens, 84.5 (5th)

Passing: Saints, 255.2 (24th); Ravens, 251.2 (21st)

Points: Saints, 25.2 (21st); Ravens, 18.1 (5th)


Ravens: Quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett, wide receiver Steve Smith, tight end Owen Daniels, linebacker Elvis Dumervil, linebcker Terrell Suggs, linebacker C.J. Mosley, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata

Saints: Quarterback Drew Brees, running back Mark Ingram, tight end Jimmy Graham, wide receiver Marques Colston, linebcker Curtis Lofton, safety Kenny Vaccaro, cornerback Keenan Lewis


Offense: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite target this year has been a familiar nemesis for the Saints: veteran wide receiver Steve Smith (49 grabs for 728 yards and four touchdowns), who played for NFC South rival Carolina from 2001-2013.

Flacco has thrown for 2,521 yards, 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 219-of-351 passing (62.4 percent).

Baltimore receiver Torrey Smith (27 catches for 446 yards and six touchdowns) will also test a Saints secondary that lost starting safety Rafael Bush in the loss to Cincinnati and had star cornerback Keenan Lewis limited to 10 snaps because of a knee injury he suffered in a Nov. 9 defeat to San Francisco.

On the ground, running back Justin Forsett leads the Ravens with 173 carries for five touchdowns and 721 yards, which is seventh-best in the NFL.

Rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro is a goal-line threat: Each of his four rushing touchdowns have been from 10 yards or closer, and two have been from the 1.

Defense: An obvious test for those in charge of protecting Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil. The three-time Pro Bowler is tied for second in the NFL with 10.5 quarterback sacks.

That’s not all, though. Among other threats the Ravens’ front pose is defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who has batted down seven throws, intercepted two passes and forced two fumbles, impressive disruption for a player at his position.

Special teams: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is among the best at his position in the NFL. He is 16-of-16 on field goals under 49 yards and 3-of-6 on kicks of 50 or more yards, with a long of 53 yards. His career longest field goal was a 61-yarder last season against the Lions.

In the return game, the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones has the longest kickoff return in the league this year: a 108-yard touchdown. The New Orleans native and former Abramson High School star is second in the NFL, averaging 31.7 yards on kickoffs. He will test the Saints, though he has lost two fumbles this year.


-- Call it the return of the Saints killer. Steve Smith is set to face the Saints a 24th time in his career, during which he’s caught 99 passes for 1,493 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Saints lead their head-to-head series against Smith 12-11 and will try to prevent him from tying it up.

-- If Drew Brees can lead the Saints to victory over Baltimore, he will have beaten every team in the NFL at least once. Brees has lost his three career starts against the Ravens, two of which have been with the Saints (in New Orleans in 2006 and in Baltimore in 2010).

-- Weekly connections between members of opposing NFL franchises are almost innumerable, but here’s one of interest for Monday.Having tried but failing to make the Saints in 2009 and 2010, Ravens cornerback Danny Gorrer is gearing up to face New Orleans a second time this season.

Gorrer spent an early portion of this season with Detroit and registered a tackle and a holding penalty during 30 snaps on defense when the Lions beat the Saints on Oct. 19.

However, Gorrer fell out of favor with the Lions’ coaching staff and was waived Nov. 3.

The Ravens claimed him off the waiver wire the next day, and he intercepted ex-LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger in a 21-7 win over Tennessee on Nov. 9.

-- Ramon Antonio Vargas