Colts couldn’t give it away, Ravens lose 20-13
The good news is…The Orioles advance to ALCS!…and hopefully that makes people forget about the dismal performance by their football counterparts just hours prior.
The Colts entered the game with the highest powered offense in yardage and scoring. The Ravens came in 7th in yards and 8th in points. A shootout was expected, but it’s not what was in the cards. After the Colts marched 59 yards on their first drive before turning it over on downs, the defenses turned up the heat.
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On the first three Ravens drives, four yards gained. They also suffered a fumble by Steve Smith, and a turnover when a punt glanced off of Jacoby Jones trying to get out of the way.
On the next three Colts drives, four yards gained. They did get the field goal after the Smith fumble, but the standout play early on was a blitz of Andrew Luck where rookie LB C.J. Mosley crushed him. The ball fluttered into the air into the waiting hands of Haloti Ngata for his team leading second interception of the season.
The Ravens came out in the second quarter firing with quick strikes from Joe Flacco to Owen Daniels and Torrey Smith to quickly move into Indy territory. They were able to move all the way inside the five yard line, and on a 4th and 1, elected to go for a touchdown instead of the easy three points to even the score. Play action was the call and the Colts were not fooled as they sacked Flacco for a ten yard loss, turning it over on downs.
Indy would counter with a 20 (not a typo, twenty) play drive going 70 yards for nearly ten minutes, resulting in a field goal to go up 6-0.
The Ravens quickly marched down for a 52 yard field goal to end the first half, lucky to be trailing 6-3 considering the Colts and Andrew Luck had possession for 20 of 30 minutes, forced turnovers, miserable play calling, coaches challenges, and an untimely penalty.
After deferring the coin toss, the Ravens received to open the second half, but picked up where they left off with another turnover. Joe Flacco was picked off by Vonte’ Davis after a promising start to the drive. The Davis pick set up Indy with easy field position on the Ravens 33. They can only keep Andrew Luck down for so long as he threw his first TD of the game to Dwayne Allen, taking a 13-3 lead midway through quarter three.
13-3 was where the score would stay for a bit. Andrew Luck was marching the Colts down looking for what could have been the kill shot the way the Ravens offense had played. Inside the redzone, Luck was picked off for the second time, this time by C.J. Mosley. New life for Baltimore, but they followed it up by quickly being forced to punt once again. However, another gift, as Griff Whalen had the catch striped after the punt, the Ravens would take over with great field position, although settling for a field goal, trimming the lead to 13-6.
Indy controlled the clock all day and on their final TD drive, they moved the ball very easily against a worn out Ravens team. It was a drive that ended with Andrew Luck seemingly walking up the middle of the defense and into the endzone for a 20-6 lead.
Baltimore gave themselves a chance as Flacco completed three passes on a four play drive (aided by defensive PI on an INT), and set up for a Justin Forsett rushing TD from 11 yards out. They went 80 yards in four plays in a minute and a half, and Ravens fans a screaming, “where has that been all day”.
There was a glimmer of hope when Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled inside the redzone, the Colts second red zone turnover of the day. The Ravens recovered with just under two minutes left and a chance to drive the field once again. It wasn’t meant to be as asking even the best offense to go the length of the field in the waning minutes, twice, is a tall task. Much less on the road when you offense has struggled all day.
In the end, the Ravens were just not ready to deal with the Colts pass rush. They got away with one last week against a depleted Carolina team. But James Hurst was no match for what the Colts had for him. Lucky for Flacco, Robert Mathis didn’t play or else it could have been a real blood bath. Flacco was running for his life most of the day, after not being sacked in the last three games. The turnovers and quick drives led to the Ravens defense being worn down when they needed a stop the most. The Colts possessed the ball for nearly 2/3 of the game (38:43). They ran 80 offensive plays versus just 57 for Baltimore.
Andrew Luck is one of the best QBs in the game and his potential is Peyton Manning like. Credit the defense for making some big plays when they really needed it to keep the offense within striking distance. But when you get lucky that a guy like Andrew Luck makes mistakes, you have to capitalize, and they never did. Instead, the Ravens poor offense constantly gave the ball back to Luck and allowed him 23 more opportunities than their team, and so much extra time to execute for his. It turns out to be the difference in a sloppy game from both sides.
Luck: 32/49 (65.3%), 312 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Bradshaw: 15 att, 68 yds, 4 rec, 17 yds, 1 fumble
Hilton: 9 rec, 90 yds
Allen: 4 rec, 59 yds, 1 TD
Ravens Stats (W/ gRBZ score)
Flacco: 22/38 (57.9%), 235 yds, 1 INT. gRBZ: -0.5651
Forsett: 6 att, 42 yds, 7 rec, 55 yds, 1 TD
Daniels: 5 rec, 70 yds. gRBZ: 0.3277
S. Smith: 5 rec, 34 yds. gRBZ: -0.498
Mosley: 15 total tackles (8 solo), 1 QB hit, 1 INT
Mike was born on the Eastern Shore, raised in Finksburg, and currently resides in Parkville. In 2009, Mike graduated from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland. Mike became a Baltimore City Fire Fighter in late 2010. Mike has appeared as a guest on Q1370, and FOX45. Now a Sr. Ravens Analyst for BSL, he can be reached at [email protected]