OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Drew Brees set the NFL record for career passing yards earlier this month. He has completed the most passes in league history, too.
In his illustrious, 18-year NFL career, Brees has beaten every team in the league except the Ravens. He is 0-4 against Baltimore but has knocked off all the other teams in the league at least twice (except the Saints, for whom he has played since 2006).
The Ravens have gotten the best of Brees in sunny San Diego (back in 2003, when Brees was the Chargers’ QB), the noisy confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the freezing wind chill in Baltimore. Four Baltimore coordinators (Mike Nolan, Rex Ryan, Greg Mattison and Dean Pees) have limited Brees to a mediocre total of nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Why have the Ravens been so successful against Brees?
"I wouldn’t be able to outline it now, Monday at 2:30 p.m.," coach John Harbaugh said, "and I wouldn’t outline it anyway."
Harbaugh doesn't want to reveal any secrets, but the key has been repeatedly hitting, deflecting and intercepting Brees when it has mattered the most.
The Ravens have held Brees, who has led 46 game-winning drives in his career, to a 64.8 passer rating in the second half. Baltimore has capitalized on turnovers, returning three of Brees' interceptions for touchdowns.
The Ravens' mindset is you have to play your best to beat the best.
"His vision is unbelievable," Harbaugh said. "His pocket awareness is the best. He’s very accurate. So he can see. He can find the open the receiver. He knows what he’s looking at pre-snap. He knows what he’s looking at post-snap. He’s not going to miss an open guy very often."
If Brees can get a win Sunday in Baltimore, he would join Brett Favre and Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks to defeat all 32 NFL teams.
It won't be easy. The Ravens' defense ranks No. 1 in yards allowed (270.8), points allowed (12.8) and sacks (26).
Leading up to the most recent Ravens-Saints meeting in 2014, Brees was asked whether he was aware Baltimore was the only team he hadn't beaten.
"Yes, I am aware," Brees said, rattling off the years when he lost to the Ravens. "Thanks for reminding me."
Here is a breakdown of how the Ravens have remained undefeated against Brees:
When: Sept. 21, 2003
Score: Ravens 24, Chargers 10
Brees: 28-of-45 for 270 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions
Why the Ravens beat Brees: A fortuitous turnover. Ravens linebacker Adalius Thomas mistimed his leap for Brees' pass, and the ball hit off his midsection. It fell into the waiting arms of rookie pass-rusher Terrell Suggs for his first career interception. Two plays later, Jamal Lewis scored Baltimore's final touchdown.
When: Oct. 29, 2006
Score: Ravens 35, Saints 22
Brees: 24-of-48 for 383 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions
Why the Ravens beat Brees: Interception returns for touchdowns. Two rookie defensive backs -- safety Dawan Landry and cornerback Ronnie Prude -- scored their first career touchdowns. Landry and Prude each returned interceptions 12 yards for scores as Baltimore built a 35-7 lead. It marked Brees' first home loss in the Superdome.
When: Dec. 19, 2010
Score: Ravens 30, Saints 24
Brees: 29-of-49 for 267 yards, three touchdowns and one interception
Why the Ravens beat Brees: A clutch deflected pass. With the score 27-24 and the Saints facing fourth-and-8 on their own 17, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata batted a pass thrown by Brees, and Cory Redding got his first career interception to clinch the victory. It ended the Saints' six-game win streak.
When: Nov. 24, 2014
Score: Ravens 34, Saints 27
Brees: 35-of-51 for 420 yards, three touchdowns and one interception
Why the Ravens beat Brees: Another interception returned for a touchdown. Brees was sacked four times in this game, and his pivotal interception came as he threw under pressure from Suggs. Brees' pass was behind tight end Jimmy Graham, allowing safety Will Hill to make the interception and return it 44 yards for a score. The play broke a 17-17 tie in the third quarter, and New Orleans never recovered.