Guest columnist predicts Ravens victory

You always hear that games are won and lost in the trenches, and this Sunday there may have never been a truer statement. The New Orleans Saints, the new America's team will be looking to improve to 6-1. Sean Payton in his first year as the head coach has done a tremendous job, in a very difficult situation, a city and organization both trying to rebuild.

Drew Brees has answered every critic that doubted that he would return this season, the Saints were willing to take a chance on him and the offseason and so far it appears to be paying off.
They also fell into a player out of USC named Reggie Bush who happens to be pretty good, then there is 7th round pick Marques Colston out of Hofstra who may be a early candidate for rookie of the year, add that with Deuce McAlister and Joe Horn and that is a pretty solid offense.
To be a good offense, you have to have a good offense line and the Saints have a pretty solid one. The Saints running game averages 109 yds rushing a game with the duo of Deuce and Reggie, the line is also very good in pass blocking, only allowing Brees to be sacked 6 times, the fewest in the NFL. Part of the success with the offensive line is Drew Brees and his 3 step quick release of the football, but you have to give credit to the J crew ( all the startes for the Saints offensive line's first name starts with J), for a lot of the success.
This will be a very good test for the Ravens defense to keep giving the Saints O-line different looks.
The much maligned, discussed, and debated Ravens offensive line will get a very solid test on Sunday.Will Smith will lead his group of D-line in against the Ravens and look to get Jiggy wit it, and hope that their success will lead them to summertime weather in Miami,( ok that was bad), but you get the point.
The Saints' defensive line has 13 sacks so far this season, the interior pressure from the Saints line will be key for the game. Brian Young and Hollis Thomas have 6 sacks combined this season, they are gonna be looking to put pressure up the middle on Steve McNair and disrupt the Ravens' running game.
Will Smith will be matched up with JO, and you have to like your chances when JO is out there, the other matchup to watch is Charles Grant against Tony Pashos, Grant is a solid pass rusher and very good at stripping the football, forcing 2 fumbles this season. Brian Young is very fundamentally sound, with great quickness and technique, his one big flaw is handling double teams, but will present good challenge for Mike Flynn. Hollis Thomas is another big D-line, who is very solid against the run, but lacks in his pass rush ability.
This will be a good football game, and will come down to the play in the trenches, I think the Ravens "new" offense will be able to do just enough offensively to give the defense a coushin of a lead.
Might also see the Ravens defense able to force a turnover for a score if they can get pressure on Brees, final result I think will be a 23-16 Ravens victory, but if the Saints are able to win, I think you can almost directly look at the play of the Ravens offensive line vs the Saints defensive line.
Casey Willett covers the Baltimore Ravens for WNST 1570 radio and co-hosts the Casey and Ray Show on Sundays. Listen to coach and player interviews every Sunday with Casey and Ray.

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