Entering last week's game against the Texans, I wrote that I thought it would be a smart idea to get running back Ray Rice more involved in the offense, but offered the caveat that because Houston was terrible against the pass, that might not be the game to lean heavily on the rushing attack.
This week, however, is the week to lean heavily on the rushing attack.
For starters, while the Saints are a very solid against the pass (fifth in the league, allowing under 200 yards passing per game), they're somewhat susceptible against the run.
New Orleans has allowed 110 yards on the ground per game, and 12 rushing touchdowns on the year.
They rank 16th in the league in total rush defense, and their 4.3 yards allowed per carry is tied for 17th in the NFL.
But beyond those numbers, there's perhaps a more important reason for the Ravens to rely on their rushing attack this Sunday.
Doing so would milk time off the clock, give the Baltimore defense a rest, and keep Drew Brees and the Saints' high-powered offense on the sidelines. And the longer Brees and company are standing around holding their helmets, the better the chances are the Ravens can snag a victory over a team which has won six in a row.
The Ravens' defense got worn down last week against the Texans, and spent nearly two-thirds of the second half chasing after Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. If Rice can run the ball effectively behind his new-look offensive line against New Orleans and churn out some first downs, that shouldn't be as much of an issue tomorrow.
In addition, this Saints defense blitzes possibly more than any other team in the league. With the Ravens' O-line struggling to the tune of 13 sacks in their last three games, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron likely won't want to have Joe Flacco drop back and throw the ball 50 times. That could get ugly.
The Ravens will need to have some balance and run the ball effectively to keep New Orleans from teeing off and blitzing the heck out of Flacco on every play.
Things are certainly made more complicated by the fact that fullback Le'Ron McClain and running back Willis McGahee are both listed as questionable with illnesses.
But, this is still the week to get back to the run-oriented attack.
The last thing the Ravens want to do is get into a shootout with the Saints. They'd be much better off trying to wear them down and keep the dangerous New Orleans offense off the field.