New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Forsett's career night helped propel the Baltimore Ravens to a 34-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday.
Forsett finished with a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries for the Ravens (7-4), who moved into a three-way tie for second place in the AFC North behind the Bengals (7-3-1).
Joe Flacco threw for 243 yards and a touchdown on 18-of-24 passing, Steve Smith made four catches for 89 yards and a touchdown and Torrey Smith hauled in five passes for 98 yards in the win.
"That was a really special win," Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh said. "You are going to have to win a lot of games to make the playoffs in our conference."
Drew Brees completed 35 of his 45 passes for 420 yards with three scores and an interception, and Jimmy Graham had two touchdowns to go with 47 yards on six catches for the Saints (4-7), who went 0-3 on a homestand for just the third time in franchise history (1967, 1997).
"On both sides of the ball right now, we aren't doing enough to get the job done," said Brees. "We just need a win. Winning cures a lot of things."
Despite the loss, New Orleans is tied for first with Atlanta in the underwhelming NFC South. It is the first time in NFL history that a division leader is three games under .500.
Trailing 17-14 at halftime, the Ravens took control with 13 straight points.
After Justin Tucker's 31-yard field goal tied the game on Baltimore's initial drive of the third quarter, Will Hill stepped in front of a pass intended for Graham, picking off Brees and taking the ball back for a 44-yard touchdown and a 24-17 Ravens lead with five minutes to play in the third.
Tucker booted a 55-yard field goal to increase Baltimore's advantage to 27-17 early in the fourth.
Shayne Graham split the uprights from 34 yards out on New Orleans' next possession.
Forsett provided breathing room for Baltimore after emerging through a hole on the left side and taking the ball 20 yards for a 34-20 lead with 2:53 to play.
Graham made a 2-yard leaping score just inside the goal line to get the Saints within one score with 40 seconds to play, but Baltimore's Kamar Aiken recovered the onside kick to seal the win.
Joe Morgan raced 67 yards down the left sideline off a reverse on just the Saints' second play from scrimmage. Two plays later, Mark Ingram appeared to fumble the ball just short of the goal line, but it was ruled that he was down by contact upon further review.
The Ravens defense still made a stop, however, as a leaping Ingram was stuffed short of the end zone on fourth down.
Forsett bounced off a defender and took off for a 38-yard gain on Baltimore's first play and Steve Smith moved the chains after hauling in a 14-yard pass on third down. After a face mask penalty moved the Ravens deep into their opponents' territory, Smith caught Flacco's pass while falling just in bounds past cornerback Brian Dixon for an early lead.
Morgan's 62-yard catch placed the Saints deep in Ravens' territory and two plays later, Graham tied the game with a 10-yard grab with 3:26 to play in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Steve Smith made another big play, this time a 40-yard grab to place Baltimore at the New Orleans 8, but Kyle Juszczyk fumbled the ball at the goal line.
New Orleans' next drive stalled at their own 26 and the Ravens marched 69 yards down the field in four plays. Forsett found the back of the end zone on a 13-yard scamper to give the Ravens a 14-7 lead with 9:08 left in the first half to cap a drive that was highlighted by Torrey Smith's 40-yard catch.
Kenny Stills jumped up in the air and ripped the ball out of cornerback Danny Gorrer's hands for a 33-yard catch down to the 5-yard line. Graham bobbled a pass in the end zone on third down as the visitors settled for a 20- yard Graham field goal.
After a Baltimore punt, New Orleans got the ball back with just under two minutes left in the first half. Marques Colston caught a deep pass over the middle for a 19-yard pickup before grabbing a pass in between two defenders for a 26-yard score and a 17-14 lead heading into the break.
Baltimore swept the NFC South this season ... The Ravens lead the all-time series 5-1 and have won three straight ... Forsett joins Dallas' DeMarco Murray and Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown as the only players with at least 65 total yards in every game this season ... The Ravens have won six straight games against NFC opponents ... Colston finished with 82 yards on four catches and Stills had eight grabs for 98 yards.