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Sunday, December 19, 2010
Wrap-up: Ravens 30, Saints 24

By James Walker

Here are some thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' victory against the New Orleans Saints:

What it means: The Ravens picked up another big win and improved to 10-4. Baltimore also continues to put pressure on the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) in the AFC North. The Steelers host the New York Jets later this evening. The Ravens will be in the playoffs either way. But they can improve their chances of playing at home in the postseason by continuing to win and hope Pittsburgh collapses.

What I liked: After struggling in the fourth quarter on defense this season, the Ravens got a big play by defensive lineman Cory Redding to seal the game. With the Saints attempting to tie or go for the win, Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata tipped a Drew Brees pass and Redding caught the first interception of his career. The AFC North blog also has been waiting for the Ravens to go back to Pro Bowl tailback Ray Rice, and this was the game to do it. Rice rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. He also caught five passes for another 80 yards, which was reminiscent of his production last season.

What I didn't like: As expected, New Orleans had a lot of success through the air against the Ravens. Brees threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns. His only bad play was the late interception. Saints receiver Lance Moore also made one of the best touchdown catches you will see all year over two Ravens in the back of the end zone in the second half. Baltimore got very little production from its receivers in this game. Anquan Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Derrick Mason each had just one reception.

What's next: The Ravens remain in the running for the AFC North title and will end the season with two division games. Next week Baltimore will travel to play against the Cleveland Browns, then end the regular season at home against the Cincinnati Bengals.