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Sunday, December 19, 2010
How the Ravens contained Drew Brees

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

BALTIMORE -- The fine folks at ESPN Stats & Information just passed along some notes that help explain why the Saints lost to the Ravens on Sunday.

Let’s start with Baltimore’s defensive pressure. In his postgame interview, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees admitted he wound up seeing more pressure than he expected from the Ravens. The numbers backed that up.

The Ravens sent five or more rushers on 25 of Brees’ 49 drop backs. In other words, Baltimore blitzed 51 percent of the time. That’s the highest percentage by the Ravens since Week Four of the 2009 season when they used the blitz on 56.8 percent of the drop backs by New England.

The other area I found interesting was a breakdown of Brees’ passes from inside the numbers compared to outside the numbers. It’s a pretty striking difference and tells you that the strength of Baltimore’s defense is inside the numbers.

On passes thrown outside the numbers, Brees averaged 7.0 yards per attempt, threw all three of his touchdowns and had a 126.3 passer rating. Inside the numbers was a totally different story.

In those situations, Brees averaged only 5.0 yards per attempt, was intercepted once and had a 58.8 passer rating.