Official team photos from the New Orleans Saints vs Baltimore Ravens game on Monday, November 24, 2014. Photos by Michael C. Hebert. (New Orleans Saints photos)
The New Orleans Saints lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34-27 on Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the team's third consecutive home defeat.
The Ravens' rushing attack - and ability to convert on third down - were too much for the Saints to overcome. Baltimore running back Justin Forsett ran the ball 22 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns, the final one coming with 2:53 to play, which sealed the game. The Ravens converted on 9 of their 13 third-down attempts.
The loss dropped the Saints to 4-7 and it was the first time since 2001 season that the team has lost three consecutive games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans remains tied with Atlanta (4-7) for first place in the NFC South. The Ravens improved to 7-4.
The game turned in the third quarter when Ravens safety Will Hill intercepted a Drew Brees pass intended for Jimmy Graham and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown and a 24-17 lead. Hill did a nice job covering Graham on Monday, breaking up another pass intended for the tight end in the end zone.
The Ravens would add a 55-yard Justin Tucker field goal and Forsett's 20-yard run.
Brees finished 35 of 45 for 420 yards with three touchdowns to go along with the interception. His first touchdown went for 10 yards to Jimmy Graham and the second was a 26-yard strike tio Marques Colston. But the Ravens were able to mount a strong pass rush on Brees, sacking him four times, and he was hit on the pass attempt that was picked off. Brees and Graham connected on a 2-yard scoring play with 40 seconds to play but the Ravens recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Brees completed pass to 10 Saints receivers with Kenny Stills leading the way with eight receptions for 98 yards. Colston had four catches for 82 yards and Graham had six catches for 47 yards and the two TDs.
The Saints struggled running the ball, especially in the first half, other than a 67-yard reverse by receiver Joe Morgan on the team's opening possession. The team failed to score after the big play as running back Mark Ingram was stuffed at the line on 4th and goal at the 1-yard line . Ingram finished with 27 yards on 11 carries while Pierre Thomas added 19 yards on five carries.
The Saints will play at the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4) on Sunday. The Steelers are coming off of a bye.