The 3-point favorite Baltimore Ravens will host the New Orleans Saints in their NFL Week 1 preseason tilt this Thursday night. The game will kick-off at 7:30 pm ET under the Raven friendly skies at M&T Bank Stadium. Click here for a look at every NFL preseason week 1 game.
The new look Saints will still have Drew Brees under center but he will be without his top target: TE Jimmy Graham. He will look to Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks and newly acquired WR Josh Morgan to fill Graham’s cleats.
— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@cbsbaltimore) August 12, 2015
If routine is to follow, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco could play a few series in this game. I expect backup QB Matt Schaub to take over early. In last season’s Week 1 preseason game vs the 49ers, Flacco played a single series and completed four-of-five passes for 52 yards. Flacco had similar success in Baltimore’s first preseason games in 2012 and 2013. He attempted 12 and nine passes, respectively.
Analyzing The New Orleans Saints Vs Baltimore Ravens Preseason Week 1 Spread, Against The Spread Pick & TV Info
New Orleans Saints vs Baltimore Ravens
Date: Thursday, August 13, 2015
Start Time: 7:30 PM ET
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
Odds: Ravens -3
Game Total: 37
Radio: New Orleans vs Baltimore
New Orleans maybe looking to rebuild with QB Drew Brees (4952 yards, 33 TDS & 17 INTs) under center. The Saints brain-trust will be eager to see what rookie QB Garrett Grayson from Colorado State can do. He’s the first quarterback drafted by the Saints since Archie Manning that has franchise expectations. I expect to see Drew Brees to play a single series to kick the tires of his new targets. Then Grayson and Luke McCown will split time to finish the game.
— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) August 11, 2015
The team traded super star TE Graham (85 rec, 889 yards, 10 TDs) to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for center Max Unger and a first-round draft pick. WR Kenny Stills (63 rec, 931 yards, 3 TDs) is now in the sunshine state. I expect sophomore WR Cooks to take hold of the top wideout position pushing Colston to the number 2 WR spot. The third WR spot on the roster is newcomer Morgan’s to lose.
“Specifically with Josh (Morgan), he’s a veteran player,” Payton said at Tuesday’s press conference. “I would say he’s extremely smart. He is physical. He is a guy that can really help both in the running game and the underneath game. He has strong hands in traffic. He has played in this league for a while so he has come in and has done some good things. Can he help in the kicking game? That will be important. I think we have a handful of young guys. It is a position I would say there is a lot of competition at.”
The running game will feature the two-headed monster of bruiser Mark Ingram (226 att, 964 yards, 9 TDs) and former Bill, the wily C.J. Spiller (78 att, 300 yards, 0 TDs).
The Saints are also rebuilding their defense after drafting five defensive players in the last draft. They will need it after finishing second to last in total defense. Rookie linebacker Stephone Anthony has impressed his coaches during the training camp. He’s the guy to keep an eye on during the preseason.
“There’s a physical presence to him when he’s out there,” Saints coach Sean Payton added.
After starter QB Joe Flacco (3986 yards, 27 TDs & 12 INTS) finishes the first series, the Ravens will turn to veteran backup Matt Schaub and second-year QB Bryn Renner. WR Steve Smith Sr. (1065 yards, & 6 TDs) has recently come out with his desire to retire after this season. It will be up to him to get young guns: WR Marlon Brown and rookie Breshad Perriman into game shape this season. Perriman continues to miss practice after a knee injury on the first day of training camp, and he probably won’t be ready to suit up against New Orleans.
There are high hopes for Perriman, who was taken No.26 overall, but he needs to get healthy before the Ravens can take the training wheels off. Wide out Marlon Brown is set to play in his third season with the Ravens, and while he was back at practice on Tuesday, he could miss Thursday’s game after battling a back and hamstring injury.
On defense, the Ravens will use the preseason to find a replacement for safety Matt Elam, who will be out for the rest of the season due to a biceps tear.
“I’m sure it’s very disappointing for him, and he told me that,” head coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Beatdown . “Here’s a guy who came back with a renewed attitude. He had a better approach than he’d had the first two years. He just had grown up a lot. He’s very serious and he was in tremendous shape, and then he gets a fluke injury. That’s disappointing.”
NFL Preseason Week 1 ATS Pick: Saints 21-28 Ravens.
The Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games. The Ravens are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games. Saints are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
The Ravens second stringers on either side of the ball are better than the Saints starters, not including Drew Brees of course. Ravens will roll.
How To Watch The Saints Vs Ravens Preseason Week 1 Matchup:
|Joel Meyers, Sean Kelley, John Stinchcomb
WVUE (FOX/8 – New Orleans)
WAFB (CBS/9 – Baton Rouge)
KSLA (CBS/12 – Shreveport)
KNOE (CBS/8 – Monroe LA)
KPLC (NBC/7 – Lake Charles LA)
KALB (CBS/5.2 – Alexandria LA)
WLOX (ABC/13 – Biloxi MS)
WDBD (FOX/40 – Jackson MS)
WTOK (CW/11.3 – Meridian MS)
WKRG (CBS/5 – Mobile AL)
WBRC (FOX/6 – Birmingham)
WPGX (FOX/28 – Panama City FL)
|7:30 ET|| Gerry Sandusky, Stan White, Qadry Ismail
WBAL (NBC/11 – Baltimore)
Comcast Sportsnet Plus (Mid-Atlantic)
WJLA (ABC/7 – Washington)
WHTM (ABC/27 – Harrisburg PA)