Drew Brees had a vested interest in watching the Ravens defense's implosion and subsequent vindication in the team's 34-28 overtime win against the Houston Texans Monday night. His reaction was slightly different from the alarmed response Ravens fans have been emitting.
"I don't buy too much into that," the New Orleans Saints quarterback said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday afternoon, "just because they had a 28-7 lead, and so it seemed like it was a lot of prevent [defense], pretty conservative. The Texans have a great offense, and they were able to move the ball in two-minute situations and stuff at the end of the game. But I have a lot of respect for that defense. I always have. So I just kind of see that as a little bit of an aberration."
Brees' diplomatic approach to Sunday's game between the Ravens and the Saints runs counter to what several observers suggest could happen. After all, when a defense surrenders 489 yards of total offense — including 393 yards on 31-of-62 passing and three touchdowns to Texans quarterback Matt Schaub — what's in store when the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Super Bowl comes to town?
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Comparing Brees to the New England Patriots' Tom Brady and the Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said, "Well, in my eyes, he's better. Maybe it could be my personal vendetta against the other guys, but he's definitely one of the premier quarterbacks in this league, and he's got the numbers to prove it. And not only that, he's got the hardware to prove it."
Brees has been off-and-on against the Ravens in the past. His first meeting occurred when he was with the San Diego Chargers and threw for 270 yards but no touchdowns and three interceptions in a 24-10 Ravens victory on Sept. 21, 2003.
In his first season in New Orleans, Brees passed for 383 yards and three touchdowns, but the Ravens returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a 35-22 win on Oct. 29, 2006.
Those numbers meant little to Ravens cornerback Chris Carr.
"We expect his best at all times," Carr said. "I don't think we're going to intimidate him or fool him. … He's just very accurate. He's a good player, and you just know that you're going to have to be very close to his receivers or he's going to find them."
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees respects Ravens' defense despite failing to protect lead vs. Texans - baltimoresun.com