Well, this'll be interesting.
Coming off a painful loss to the Steelers and what was somehow an equally painful win over the Texans, the Ravens will host the defending Super Bowl champion Saints Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
New Orleans comes into this one sporting an impressive 10-3 record and having won its last six games. They've set themselves up for a playoff spot, but are still a game back of the Falcons for the AFC South lead, and would certainly prefer to ride their hot streak to a division title and home field advantage throughout the postseason.
This should be an fun battle between two solid teams, but New Orleans is certainly carrying more momentum into this one than their opponents.
Here's how the Ravens and Saints match up statistically going into Sunday's matchup:
Ravens: 334.8 (18th)
Saints: 386.0 (3rd)
Ravens: 104.9 (21st)
Saints: 101.1 (22nd)
Ravens: 229.9 (14th)
Saints: 284.9 (3rd)
Ravens: 319.8 (10th)
Saints: 308.6 (6th)
Ravens: 98.8 (8th)
Saints: 110.0 (16th)
Ravens: 221.1 (14th)
Saints: 198.6 (5th)
Ravens: Even (13th)
Saints: -4 (t-20th)
This isn't breaking news by any means, but the Saints have put together a powerful offensive unit which is difficult to match up against because of the amount of playmakers they can put on the field at one time.
Drew Brees has joined the ranks of elite quarterbacks in the NFL despite his lack of size and injury history, and is incredibly tough to defend because he gets the ball out of his hand so quickly.
He has a host of weapons to work with both in the passing game and on the ground, and he spreads the ball around like few quarterbacks in the league. Nine Saints players have at least 20 catches on the season, led by Marques Colston, who's Brees' big-play guy.
Colston has been on fire during the Saints' second half surge, posting seven receiving touchdowns in New Orleans' last seven games. At 6-foot-4, 225 lbs., he'll be tough for the Ravens' smaller defensive backs to match up against.
Given the issues that the Ravens have had defending the pass lately, you have to think that the Saints will be fine with spreading Baltimore out wide and having Brees attack primarily through the air.
Defensively, the Saints are solid all around, but don't have any huge playmakers that should really threaten Baltimore's offense. They're stout in the secondary with cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter and safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins.
What makes New Orleans so dangerous on the defensive side of the ball is that they have one of the most aggressive coordinators in the game in Gregg Williams, a guy who loves to pressure the quarterback. Williams will send all kinds of exotic blitzes at opposing teams, and if he sees a weakness in a team up front, he'll attack from the first snap of the game until the clock hits triple zeros.
Williams has certainly seen the protection issues that the Ravens have had lately, so we can expect to see plenty of overload blitzes and safeties coming off the edge on Sunday.
Overall, this will be a very telling matchup from the Ravens' perspective. This Saints team is the type of run-and-gun squad that they've had trouble with in the past and will likely face in the postseason.
Those at Ravens HQ have been saying all week that while they're struggling in some areas, they are still 9-4 and are where they want to be. After Sunday, we'll have a better idea if that's truly the case.
I think the Ravens certainly have the talent to compete with the Saints, but it would take their best effort of the season to come away with a win on Sunday. John Harbaugh's team is flawed right now, and I think the Saints will be able to expose some of Baltimore's issues on the offensive line and in the secondary.
Put me down for a 31-24 Saints win.
What about you; how do you see this game playing out? Do you think the Ravens will be able to bounce back from a bit of a tough stretch and pull out a big win? Or are the Saints simply too much for this scuffling Ravens team?
Who you got?