NEWS

New Orleans Saints prepare for Baltimore Ravens

Michael Tortorich
New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas breaks free.

The New Orleans Saints claimed their sixth straight win Sunday in the Louisiana Superdome, topping the St. Louis Rams, 31-13.

New Orleans (10-3) turned back St. Louis (6-7) after safety Malcolm Jenkins picked off a Sam Bradford pass just before halftime and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown.

The momentum carried over into the second half as the Saints cruised to victory, keeping pace with the NFC South leaders, the Atlanta Falcons.

The Saints have just one more home game remaining in the regular season.

New Orleans will travel to Baltimore Sunday for a noon kickoff against the Ravens.

The Saints then go to Atlanta for their second meeting with the Falcons on Dec. 27. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

In the final week of the season, the Saints will host the Tampa Bay Bucs on Jan. 2. Kickoff is set for noon.

As an AFC team, the Ravens don’t appear often on the Saints’ schedule.

“It’s a cross-conference game and we just happen to be playing that division this season,”?Saints coach Sean Payton said. “You’re not as familiar because you don’t play them but every four years so it’s important to do the film study and pay attention to the uniquenesses of what they do defensively, offensively and in the kicking game.”

The playoff picture is starting to come into focus.

For the Saints, here are the scenarios they would need to clinch a playoff spot:

• A win plus Bucs loss or tie plus Giants loss or tie

• A win plus Bucs loss or tie plus Bear loss or tie

• A win plus Bucs loss or tie plus Packers loss or tie

• A tie plus Bucs loss plus Packers loss

• A tie plus Bucs loss plus Giants loss plus Bears loss.

Malcolm Jenkins has made the most of his new role as starting free safety.

Jenkins has picked up where Darren Sharper left off as playmaker.

Jenkins forced a key turnover to give the Saints a win over Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Against the Rams, the Ohio State product made a pair of key interceptions.

Jenkins was NFC?defensive player of the week after both games.

New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins chases St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brandon Gibson.