In the days leading up to our week 7 match up with the New Orleans Saints, I found myself inspired to find a new angle to write about. I, along with the rest of the Purple Reign Show writers give our thoughts on matchups every week with our quick slants articles (check those out if you haven’t already). I’ve also seen pieces focusing on the opposition’s media personalities’ opinions leading up to games. Both formats are interesting, insightful, and worth reading, but I wanted something new to call my own.
Enter: The Reddit Roundup
This is the first iteration of what I’m hoping can become a regular segment. I spent the week visiting the saints subreddit and interacting with the members with the goal of gaining their perspective on our game this week. I asked a few questions and left the thread open for discussion and got a lot of great feedback to gain insight on how the fans think the game is going to play out. I’ve compiled the answers and opinions below.
Note: An asterisk next to the user number indicates an edit to their direct quote. I’ll only be doing this to fix typos or condense answers, never to change or misrepresent a response.
What’s your overview of the game this week? Are you expecting a close game, a blowout win, a loss, etc?
djmcintyre: “I’m nervous, I expect a close match and wouldn’t wanna bet on a win or a loss. We’ve been playing well all around but the Ravens are probably the toughest matchup yet and we’re playing in Baltimore and coming off a bye (which from what I’ve seen this year, idk if its a good or a bad thing).”
someguywithoutname: “I think at this point it could be anyone’s game, and probably a fun game to watch.”
RevDeuceWindham (Who’s a fantastic writer for The Athletic): “I expect a close game, but a win for the Saints. Can the Ravens D slow down the Saints O, and can the Ravens O keep up?”
pottersquash: “Saints win. With comfortable lead. It may be close at end, but only cause Ravens get a garbage score.”
XJollyRogerX: “I’m pretty much expecting a win. Now I think it’s going to either be a blowout or a close game. We tend to play well away so that fact doesn’t really bother me and we seem to be on a consistent uptick across the board.”
*Herpadew: “This one is a toss up to me. I think it will be a close game that ends somewhere around 21-24(…) but if the Ravens can find a way to contain Kamara and pressure Brees consistently I will be pretty worried.”
*Willison99: “I honestly think we’re gonna surprise some people on Sunday. We have the number one rushing defense and a very balanced attack on offense(…) I think we win comfortably, 31-21.”
Zakimus: ” This is one of the games I circled when the schedule came out and I’m still excited about it! I’m only an hour from Baltimore so I was trying to make it to this game. I think it’s gonna be a stellar matchup between two very good teams. I think the Ravens are a top 5 team in the AFC even with Flacco at QB, who’s been bailing out comparatively this year.”
JaySpike: “I’d say the final is 24-21 with us scoring a TD late in the 4th when the game was already out of reach. Brees throws his first two INTs of the season, Kamara and Ingram have great games but our defense doesn’t show up all too great with John Brown beating us deep multiple times.”
nolagem: ” This game makes me nervous. It’s our elite O against Ravens elite D, basically. I could see it going either way. I think turnovers will play a key role here.”
Thorfinnson: “This is a great match up and an important preview of what the Saints are capable of coming off the bye and facing, arguably, the toughest schedule in the league over the next few weeks. I think we should win but I think that comes down to our defense more than our offense. The improvement we’ve seen has to continue.”
Judging from the responses, most of the Saints faithful are expecting a close game. Most are picking a Saints win, which is to be expected, especially in a close match up. Some think the game could be an easier win than others, but just about everyone is expecting a fun game between great teams. User volstedgridban even went as far as saying, “I legit, no joke, think this game is the Super Bowl preview. I think the Ravens are the most complete AFC team right now, and I see us playing against each other one more time in February.” High praise and a lot of respect coming from our opponents this week.
What player(s) on the Ravens worry you the most?
djmcintyre: “It’s hard to single out players when your entire front 7 is scary as hell.”
someguywithoutname: “Thing that I am most worried about is the Ravens defense as a unit. They’re consistently one of the best in the league and it is going to be tough regardless of how good our run and pass game is.”
RevDeuceWindham: “Za’Darius Smith/Suggs.”
pottersquash: “John Brown. He has speed. We don’t play speed well. And of course Suggs.”
XJollyRogerX: “Flacco has me worried, he can play really well if given time in the pocket. That being said if our pressure continues to improve like it has I think he will be kept under control.”
JaySpike: “Easily John Brown seeing as how awful our deep ball D has been and Joe having one of the best deep balls in the league.”
Thorfinnson: “I will agree with the others that Brown worries me with the Saints penchant for giving up big plays, but the fact that y’all have 3 good cbs worries me more. I think Watson will remain in to help block most plays and our wrs will have to get open against those cbs if we want any chance of winning.”
The defense is the consensus answer to this one, but John Brown got a lot of love as well. On top of just asking the questions I took the time to hold conversations with some of these guys, and I was somewhat surprised to see just how much attention John Brown is getting. Saints fans are expecting a big game out of him, and I’m hoping they’re right.
What matchups are you excited to watch?
djmcintyre: “Your DL/LB’s vs our OL/RB’s. I think your LB’s are as good as any unit in the league but Kamara/Ingram tend to find a way to run/get yards on anyone. Seems like it could be the prototypical ‘unstoppable force vs immovable object’ battle.”
RevDeuceWindham: “Ravens Front 7 vs Saints OL. Strength vs Strength. Who wins in the trenches?”
pottersquash: “Ingram v. Suggs which is really just our OL v. your front 7. I want a 4 YPC run game.”
*XJollyRogerX: “I’m most excited to see how our o-lines and d-lines match up. Specifically to see if o-line continues to look great and if the D-line continues to be best run stopper in the NFL. As for individual players I’m really excited to see how you guys will match up against Davenport and Cam (DE Cameron Jordan).”
*Zakimus: “Brees going against Suggs and a stifling Baltimore defense(…) I’m also interested to see how the Saints defense is going to stop John Brown. Although our defense has gotten better as a whole after getting Fitzmagic’d (rip those two weeks), the Saints secondary still has given up big plays down the field in almost every game, and I think John Brown is one of the best speedsters in the league when he’s healthy.”
*JaySpike: “Of course MT (WR Michael Thomas) against Carr and Jimmy.”
*Thorfinnson: “The best way to stop a pass rush is to run the ball. Can Ingram and Kamara force the defense to respect the run game and keep them from pinning their ears back and going after Brees? I already mentioned our wrs against your cbs, so I’ll go with who is Lattimore going to cover? Brown is the big play threat but Crabtree is averaging 10+ targets a game and gets those 7/8 yds on first down that allows you to take deep shots to Brown on second down and still have a manageable 3rd down if you miss. If Latti (CB Marshon Lattimore) shuts down Crabtree and our D continues to stop the run we may be able to get your offense completely off track and then this may turn into a blowout. Also Davenport has gotten better every week, coming off the bye and having had time to study his film and improve his pass rush moves, can he continue to improve and get home for some sacks against Stanley? If he can Flacco won’t have time to make those deep throws to Brown and it would be a great sign moving forward. I’ll be watching that match up closely.”
Strength vs strength is the matchup to watch. The Saints have one of the better offensive lines in the league, and we have one of the better front 7’s. This one could be won in the trenches. Saints fans provided a nice variety of answers here though, including our CBs vs their WRs, and our run game vs their run defense (which is best in the league currently). The range of answers tells me there should be plenty to watch out for throughout the evening.
What do you think is the key to victory for the saints?
djmcintyre: “If our OL can keep pressure off of Brees for the most part I think we win. I think Brees, especially this year, can pick apart any defense if he has some time. But if your front 7 performs like it did against the Titans (who may not have AS good of an OL as us, but they have a damn good one .. at least I think) then I don’t see our offense enough.”
RevDeuceWindham: “I think it’s simple. Slow the pass rush, and Drew can slice apart any team.”
*pottersquash: “Turnovers. Saints can’t give y’all good field position. Also, kicking. Will Lutz returns from whence he came. Can the pupil best the teacher?”
XJollyRogerX: “Offense does what it always does and we see a continual improvement of the D. Specifically pressure and coverage. I am confident in our top tier run D but if we don’t get sacks and pressure Flacco I think it’ll be a shootout.”
JaySpike: “Not having any turnovers and winning TOP. Im a huge fan of both teams, so I know a lot about them. I really see this one playing out pretty similar to our 24-30 loss last time we played in Baltimore.”
Thorfinnson: “Running the ball is the key offensively, especially out of 2 back sets with both Ingram and Kamara on the field to force your lbs to cover them both out of the backfield and keeping them from going after the qb. Defensively can the front 4 get pressure and contain the run at the same time and what kind of coverage will Allen(our DC) use on the back end. He’s known to like man coverage with a cover one shell, but has had to use more cover 2 looks with our difficulties at the cb 2 position. The Ravens are primed to take advantage of that weakness so I expect(hope) that we continue to use cover 2 shells to keep the big plays contained.”
Saints fans, for the most part, believe that winning the turnover battle and keeping Brees clean are key factors to winning. They also know that may be easier said than done. Getting a run game going against our 3rd ranked unit would also help them win the time of possession battle and control the game.
Overall, this game feels extremely important to both fan bases, and if you’re optimistic enough about our chances it could very well be a Superbowl preview. I want to thank the Saints subreddit for being so generous and giving me great material. Make sure to check out user RevDeuceWindham‘s work at The Athletic if you’re interested in seeing more perspective from the Saints side of things.