It’s hard to imagine a more thrilling game than the one between the Ray Marshall-led Ravens and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and one that’s still going strong even as the Ravens’ season enters its final stretch.
While the game ended in a 10-9 loss, the Ravens have kept the momentum going with wins over Cleveland, Kansas City, Miami and Atlanta, and they’re still in the playoff hunt.
It’s just that it feels so much more fun when you can put on the Ray’s jersey and cheer for him.
And that’s just what happened in Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium.
It was a perfect storm of emotions for Ravens fans and a perfect game for Ray Lewis.
The Baltimore-New Orleans game started with a big, physical first quarter.
On first down, the Saints ran a play-action fake to set up a screen pass, and Lewis was wide open down the right sideline.
He took off for 32 yards on three catches, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Dixon.
After a slow start, Lewis was in the right place at the right time, finishing the first quarter with 12 receptions for 172 yards.
His biggest highlight came when he ran through the middle of a defender and got a quick jump pass to take the ball into the end zone.
Lewis scored his third touchdown of the season and added another two rushing scores to give him 10 in his past 14 games.
The next three games, Lewis is going to have to get back to playing at a high level, but he was playing at his best against a team that’s been very good at keeping him off the field.
After scoring three touchdowns against Cleveland, the Steelers got a little more consistent with their pass rush.
Pittsburgh went to the ground with 13 sacks, but only six of those came on the Ravens.
Baltimore’s pass rush, in turn, was better, as it forced seven of the Ravens quarterback’s 11 incompletions and forced seven passes thrown their way.
The Ravens were able to keep their lead in the fourth quarter, but it was still too much for New Orleans, who came out firing after halftime.
The Steelers got the ball back early in the fifth quarter on a two-point conversion by a blocked kick.
The game was tied at 10 at halftime, but Baltimore got the win with a field goal from Terence Newman with 4:30 left in the game.
It wasn’t just a great performance from the Ravens, but a great game by the Steelers, too.
“We’re playing at our best when we play as a team, and that’s what this game is all about,” said linebacker James Harrison.
“I don’t know how many people can say that about their teams.
It felt like it was a team game today.”
The Saints have a chance to add another win to their season on Sunday when they take on the Baltimore Ravens.
The Saints are coming off a Week 1 victory over the Miami Dolphins, but they’ve been struggling on the road in recent weeks.
After dropping their first two games, the Baltimore offense is now averaging fewer than 17 points per game on the season.
New Orleans is 2-4 against the AFC North this season, and is 0-3 against the Ravens in their past five meetings.