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Baltimore Ravens run over New Orleans Saints: 5 biggest winners and losers, including Justin Houston

The Week 9 NFL schedule wrapped up on Monday night with a showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints. Spectators got to witness Lamar Jackson taking on a defense that came into the matchup ranking in the top 15 in yards allowed, but the final score was more of an indication of the Saints allowing the seventh-most points per game coming into the game.

From Jackson’s magnificent performance to Baltimore’s suffocating defense, we recap the biggest winners and losers from Week 9’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Ravens and Saints.

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Winner: Baltimore Ravens rush offense proves too dominant

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the biggest story of the day was just how excellent the Ravens’ rushing attack was against the Saints. Nearly outgaining both the passing efforts from the Ravens themselves as well as the air attack from their opponents, the Ravens rolled up 188 rushing yards on 40 attempts, including two scores.

They controlled the contest by maintaining possession of the ball, eating up the game clock with ease. The Ravens had the ball for 37:47, compared to just 22:13 seconds from the Saints. In total, Baltimore had 14 rushing first downs compared to New Orleans getting a total of 13 first downs on the day. It was never close.

Related: 2022 NFL offense rankings: Jets and Bears break into the rankings after Week 9

Loser: Alvin Kamara’s disappearance led to blowout

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at New Orleans Saints
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

While the Ravens had no troubles moving the chains with a strong rushing attack, the Saints struggled greatly. Kamara posted new season lows in rushing yards (30) while matching his season lows in touches (12).

For an offense that lacks playmakers, especially with Michael Thomas ruled out, it doesn’t make any sense for offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael to not get their best skill position player involved. Yet, the Saints also had a tough time staying on the field. It may not have all been on Kamara, but he also didn’t do anything with the few opportunities he did receive.

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Winner: Justin Houston puts on a show

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Justin Houston came into the matchup ranked 39th all-time with 108 career sacks. After a disappointing first season in Baltimore where the sack artist tallied just 4.5 QB takedowns, he’s back for another season rushing off the edge.

Only, he’s having much more success in 2022. Now 33, Houston started the day with six sacks in five games, making just one start. On Monday, Houston made the case to receive even more playing time, getting through for 2.5 sacks. He passed Greg Townsend on the NFL’s unofficial sack leaders list and now is just half a sack behind Randy White.

Houston also added an interception, which had his quarterback ready to put a gold jacket on the defensive playmaker after the game, and after his latest effort, who can blame him.

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Loser: New Orleans Saints defense fails again

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans may have miraculously held the Saints to zero points in Week 8, but clearly, that was a farce. The Saints have allowed 20 or more points in their other eight matchups this season. Taking on a Lamar Jackson-led team is never easy, and they largely held the former NFL MVP in check, but the defense did not.

Knowing they likely wouldn’t have a ton of scoring support from their offense, Dennis Allen should have had his defense more prepared to create turnovers. Despite 65 total offensive plays, the Saints, with All-Pro talents like Cameron Jordan, Demario Davis, and Tyrann Mathieu, none of them were able to capitalize tonight.

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Winner: Ravens defense proves to be elite

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

After allowing just nine points to the Jets in the Ravens’ season opener, Baltimore had allowed 17 or more points in their last seven matchups. Until tonight. Holding New Orleans to just 13 points, allowing a total of 243 yards, the Ravens put forth a complete effort.

We saw the defense create pressure, sacking Andy Dalton four times. And the collapsed pockets helped lead to a tipped pass interception by the aforementioned Justin Houston.

Combine their game-changing plays with holding the New Orleans rushing attack to a total of 48 yards, for an average of 3.2 yards per clip, and it’s easy to say the Ravens had the better defense at the Superdome.

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