By the time he retires in some still unwritten chapter of his NFL playing career, Drew Brees may own every passing record in NFL history.
But the New Orleans Saints quarterback, fresh off becoming the NFL’s career passing yardage leader, would like to do one thing on Sunday that he hasn’t been able to do in 18 seasons — defeat the Baltimore Ravens.
Brees, 39, is 0-3 against the Ravens, the only NFL team he has yet to beat. A victory would make Brees the only quarterback besides Brett Favre and Peyton Manning to defeat all 32 NFL teams.
“Listen, I would love to beat these guys,” said Brees, who has led the 4-1 Saints to first place in the NFC South. “ They’re always a great team when you play them. So you always know it is going to be a slugfest. You do not get to play them all that often. It’s a once every four year deal being AFC and NFC, but they’re a great team. They’re the No. 1 defense in the league right now, so we have got our work cut out for us.”
Brees has always been ultra-competitive, and he admitted it does bother him not having been able to beat the Ravens (4-2).
“A little bit,” he said. “Again, you try to make it like any other game, any other opponent. You turn on the film and you know you just digest what you see you know. Take the name off the helmet and just go off you know what you see on film and they are an extremely talented defense across the board.”
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh doesn’t put much stock into the statistical oddity.
“This league - week to week, game to game - it’s crazy,” he said. “That’s probably what I would attribute that to.”
While the Saints had a bye week to rest from their 43-19 rout of the Washington Redskins on Oct. 8 - which has allowed starting cornerback Marshon Lattimore to show steady recovery from a concussion - Baltimore shut out the Tennessee Titans 21-0 on the road on Sunday, recording 11 sacks against quarterback Marcus Mariota, the league’s first 11-sack game since 2012. Mariota completed only 10 passes. He was sacked on 42 percent of his throws.
Harbaugh said it will be much more difficult to get Brees on the ground because of the way he gets rid of the ball so quickly.
“He looks better than ever,” Harbaugh said. “I think he’s playing at the highest level he’s played (at), if it’s possible. I can’t remember him playing any better. He knows where he is going with the ball, has weapons around him and they protect him. But he’s the maestro, he orchestrates the whole thing. Between he and Sean (Payton) game-planning and freeing guys up in man-zone coverage and him knowing where to go with the ball and getting it there quickly, it’s been very good.”
While the Saints probably will get Lattimore back to shore up their secondary, the Ravens are bit more banged up. Cornerback Brandon Carr (knee) and guard Alex Lewis (neck) did not practice on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media