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Ravens defeat Saints behind Rice, defense

BALTIMORE - Ray Rice won't soon forget the outstanding game he had against the defending Super Bowl champions.

Neither will his mother.

Rice ran for 153 yards, caught five passes for 80 yards and scored two touchdowns Sunday to lead the Ravens over the Saints, 30-24.

"I laid my shoes over there," Rice said afterward. "I'm going to give them to my mom for Christmas. I'm going to sign them and give them to her on top of her other gifts."

In a game that had significant playoff ramifications for both teams, the Ravens (10-4) used a time-tested recipe to end the six-game winning streak of the Saints (10-4).

Baltimore scrapped its high-powered passing game in favor of running the ball. And the defense, which had blown eight fourth-quarter leads, banded together to make sure it didn't happen again.

Coming in, Rice did not have a run of more than 30 yards this season and had reached the 100-yard mark only once. Against the Saints, he peeled off a 50-yarder in the fourth quarter and finished with his most yards rushing since a 154-yard effort Nov. 2, 2009, at Cleveland.

"We knew coming in that they were going to try to protect the football, try to run the ball,'' Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins said. "We just couldn't stop it."

The Ravens' defense did its part, limiting New Orleans to 27 yards rushing and stopping it on its last two possessions.

It was the first time in six games that the Saints failed to score at least 30 points.

"I think everybody on our defense was thinking, 'We can't let this one go,' " tackle Haloti Ngata said. "It just felt great to have our defense stop a great offense like that.''

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