Justin Forsett ripped off one long run after another, and the Baltimore Ravens battered Drew Brees into a very costly mistake.
Forsett rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns, and Baltimore beat New Orleans 34-27 on Monday night to hand the Saints their third consecutive loss.
Will Hill had a 44-yard interception return for a go-ahead score for Baltimore in the third quarter. Steve Smith caught four passes for 89 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown catch for the Ravens (7-4), who improved to 4-0 against the NFC South and remained within a half-game of AFC North leader Cincinnati (7-3-1).
Forsett's scoring runs went for 13 yards in the second quarter and 20 yards late in the fourth quarter to seal it.
“The offensive line did a great job of making those lanes open for me,” Forsett said. “I just tried to seize the moment.”
Brees passed for 420 yards and three touchdowns for New Orleans (4-7), which remained tied for first in its anemic division with Atlanta, which lost to Cleveland a day earlier. Now New Orleans and Atlanta have the dubious distinction of being the first teams in NFL history to occupy first place in a division while three games under .500.
“We've got to make sure we've got enough thick skin and be able to have the mental and physical toughness to bounce back and get ready to play next week, because we're playing obviously an important game,” said Saints Coach Sean Payton, whose club visits Pittsburgh on Sunday.