Final

Saints 24

(10-4, 5-2 away)

Ravens 30

(10-4, 6-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 19, 2010

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD 

1 2 3 4 T
NO 7 7 3 724
BAL 7 14 3 630

Top Performers

Passing: D. Brees (NO) - 267 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: R. Rice (BAL) - 31 CAR, 153 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Colston (NO) - 6 REC, 81 YDS

Ray Rice's 233-yard, 2-TD day helps Ravens snap Saints' 6-game win streak

Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- Ray Rice won't soon forget the outstanding game he had against the defending Super Bowl champions.

Neither will his mother.

Rice ran for 153 yards, caught five passes for 80 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead the Baltimore Ravens over the New Orleans Saints 30-24 on Sunday.

"I laid my shoes over there," Rice said afterward. "I'm going to give them to my mom for Christmas. I'm going to sign them and give them to her on top of her other gifts."

In a game that had significant playoff ramifications for both teams, the Ravens (10-4) used a time-tested recipe to end the six-game winning streak of the Saints (10-4).

On offense, Baltimore scrapped its high-powered passing game in favor of running the ball. And the defense, which had blown eight fourth-quarter leads, banded together to make sure it didn't happen again.

"I saw the game plan. I knew we were going to run the ball today," said Rice, who moved over 1,000 yards rushing for a second straight season.

Coming in, Rice did not have a run of more than 30 yards and reached the 100-yard mark only once. Against the Saints, he peeled off a 50-yard run in the fourth quarter and finished with his most yards rushing since a 154-yard effort on Nov. 2, 2009, at Cleveland.

"We knew coming in that they were going to try to protect the football, try to run the ball. We just couldn't stop it," New Orleans linebacker Malcolm Jenkins said.

The Baltimore defense did its part, limiting the Saints to 27 yards rushing and stopping New Orleans on its final two possessions.

"I think everybody on our defense was thinking, 'We can't let this one go,' " Ravens tackle Haloti Ngata said. "Throughout this year, we've always let teams finish us off instead of us getting off the field and letting our offense finish the game. It just felt great to have our defense stop a great offense like that."

With the score 27-24 and the Saints facing a fourth-and-8 on their own 17, Ngata batted a pass thrown by Drew Brees and Cory Redding got the interception to clinch the victory. A field goal by Billy Cundiff created the final cushion.

Brees went 29 for 46 for 267 yards and brought the Saints back from a 21-7 deficit. He threw two touchdown passes to tight end Jimmy Graham and another to wide receiver Lance Moore, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Saints from losing for the first time since Oct. 24.

It was the first time in six games that New Orleans failed to score at least 30 points.

"I thought we did some good things today; we just didn't do enough," Brees said. "From a confidence standpoint, it's unwavering for us. We're as confident as any team out there and we know how good we can be and how great we can be."

Brees went over 4,000 yards passing for the fifth consecutive season, a feat performed previously by only Peyton Manning.

The reigning Super Bowl MVP was good, but also lucky. Brees fumbled twice during a third-quarter drive of 20 yards, but the Saints recovered the loose ball on each occasion before Garrett Hartley kicked a 47-yard field goal to cut Baltimore's lead to 21-17.

The Ravens then got a first-and-goal at the New Orleans 5 before Le'Ron McClain dropped a potential touchdown pass and Joe Flacco was sacked. So Cundiff kicked a field goal to restore the seven-point cushion.

New Orleans pulled even at 24 with 11:34 left when Moore made a sensational catch of a deflected pass in the back left corner of the end zone. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh challenged the call to no avail.

The back-and-forth duel continued when Rice ripped off a 50-yard run to set up a 32-yard field goal that made it 27-24 with 10:03 to go.

This time, the Ravens made the advantage stand up.

"It just don't get no better," Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis said. "This team has been through so much. We've done been through every up, every down, every peak, every valley. We knew this was the defending champs coming in here."

The champs stumbled in this one, but remain upbeat.

"Everything is ahead of us," safety Darren Sharper said. "If we win the next two games, we are in good position. We just need to come back from today. This was a tough loss to a tough team."

Game notes


Ravens LB Jarret Johnson played in his 111th consecutive game, tying the franchise record set by LB Peter Boulware. ... Saints CB Jabari Greer left with a knee injury. ... Ravens KR David Reed left in the first half with a concussion. ... Flacco has 23 TD passes, a new single-season career high.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NO
BAL
1st Downs2117
Passing 1st downs
166
Rushing 1st downs
38
1st downs from penalties
23
3rd down efficiency
5-135-14
4th down efficiency
0-11-1
Total Plays6362
Total Yards269356
Yards per play4.35.7
Total Drives1113
Passing242148
Comp-Att
29-4610-20
Yards per pass
4.96.4
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-253-24
Rushing27208
Rushing Attempts
1439
Yards per rush
1.95.3
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-42-5
Penalties6-6810-68
Turnovers10
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession28:3131:29

Passing Leaders

NOC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brees29/462675.8313-25
BALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Flacco10/201728.6203-24

Rushing Leaders

NOCARYDSAVGTDLG
Thomas6203.3011
Jones4112.804
BALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rice311534.9150
McGahee7537.6028

Receiving Leaders

NORECYDSAVGTDLG
Colston68113.5027
Henderson35317.7026
BALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Rice58016.0132
Mason14242.0042

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNOBAL
noTD9:10Jimmy Graham 18 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 60 yds, 3:08
70
balTD4:53Ed Dickson 34 Yard Pass From Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 76 yds, 4:20
77
SECOND QUARTERNOBAL
balTD14:24Ray Rice 10 Yard Run (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 58 yds, 4:15
714
balTD10:12Ray Rice 17 Yard Pass From Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 34 yds, 3:05
721
noTD0:25Jimmy Graham 1 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 92 yds, 2:52
1421
THIRD QUARTERNOBAL
noFG6:30Garrett Hartley 47 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 20 yds, 4:08
1721
balFG2:20Billy Cundiff 33 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 59 yds, 4:09
1724
FOURTH QUARTERNOBAL
noTD11:41Lance Moore 15 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 5:41
2424
balFG10:08Billy Cundiff 32 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 66 yds, 1:31
2427
balFG0:12Billy Cundiff 27 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 9 yds, 1:38
2430

Research Notes

Drew Brees threw for 267 yards and went over 4,000 yards this season. Brees tied Peyton Manning for the 2nd-most consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons on Sunday vs the Ravens.
  [+]
Ray Rice rushed for 121 of his season-high 153 yards between the tackles on Sunday, the most Rice has accumulated up the middle since Week 9 of 2008 (136).

ESPN Stats & Information