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Z. Smith honored, Ravens prepping for Brees & Saints

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Posted at 3:03 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 15:03:13-04

It was a masterful, historic performance led by Za’Darius Smith.  

For his efforts in last Sunday’s win in Tennessee, the linebacker was named this week’s AFC Defensive Player of the week.

“(It) feels great. It’s big,” he said.

A franchise-record 11 sacks were turned in by the Ravens defense in a shutout win over the Titans. 

Three by ‘Z’.  

Now it’s time to channel that momentum into the rest of the season.

“We had 11 sacks. That’s big for a defense. But, going into this week we got to continue to do the same thing,” said Smith.

“You definitely build on it. You know what you’re capable of doing, but at the same time, teams are different,” added cornerback Jimmy Smith. “No disrespect to the Tennessee Titans, but Drew Brees is a whole different quarterback than Marcus Mariota.”

And Brees is who’s coming to town this Sunday.  

The long-time Saints QB is fresh off setting the NFL’s all-time passing yards record against Washington and he’s one touchdown away from 500 for his career. 

Ravens receiver Willie Snead played with Brees in New Orleans for three years before coming to Baltimore.

“If he knows what you’re doing or what you’re going to do, you’re going to have a long day,” said Snead. “I think disguise is going to be huge. The way you get him off his game is you got to bring pressure, you got to mix it up.”

“(The Saints’) offensive line is big, physical. They latch on and do a great job that way,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “Of course, Drew gets it out, he knows where he’s going. They scheme up open players pretty quickly.”

The Saints are number one in the NFL putting up 36 points per game. The Ravens defense is number one in the league allowing 12.8 points per game.

The Ravens still have yet to allow a touchdown after halftime this year. They’re the first team to accomplish that through their first six games of the season since 1934.  That stat is in serious jeopardy this week.

As for the status of Alex Lewis, who suffered a neck injury last Sunday, Harbaugh said the guard basically has a pinched nerve and is day-to-day.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook