Hey there, Baltimore fans! Greetings from Indianapolis.
You know, we've certainly had our quarrels over the years. Harsh words here, bad blood there. Still, in this magical time of the year, it's nice to know that we can put aside our differences to concentrate on what truly matters: Laughing at the Patriots.
Ahh, doesn't that feel good? Now let's talk some football.When last our teams met, the Colts got the better of a hard-fought game. My question to you guys is, what's different about this meeting?
Obviously the biggest difference is that this time you're coming to our house. I personally don't think the Luke gets quite as loud as the old Dome used to but the fans in blue can still kick up a big noise on third down. For the infamous 4th-and-2 play we were downright deafening. The Ravens haven't been stellar on the road this year but you do get real props for that kidney punch you just gave the Pats at Gillette.
Looking at the injury report, the most obvious subtraction for the Colts is TE Tom Santi, who last game put up 80 yards but lost a goal-line fumble. It's hard to say that losing him will make much difference for the Colts. Santi only played in three games this year and the Ravens game was his biggest by far. We Colts fans like him, but even if he played on Saturday there's no reason to believe that lightning would strike him twice.
The biggest addition has to be the return of CB Kelvin Hayden. While undrafted rookie CB Jacob Lacey has been amazing for us, there's just no substitute for Hayden's years of experience as a Cover-2 corner.
Other injury notes:
S Melvin Bullitt - Still listed with a shoulder injury from week 9, but three days ago he was on the radio saying it's back to 100%
OT Ryan Diem - Sat for week 17 with an elbow injury. Hopefully the rest has done him good.
LB Clint Session - Hasn't played since week 15 with a knee injury. Very, very important for stopping the run. We'll be watching closely for his name on the injury reports this week.
RB Chad Simpson - Oh noooo! Who will the Colts get to return kickoffs to the 21-yard line?? Simpson has been good at not fumbling but mostly his returns have been... less than impressive. WR Sam Giguere was signed from the practice squad two weeks ago and got the return job in week 17 at Buffalo.
CB Jerraud Powers - Hurt his hamstring in week 14 against the Broncos. He downplayed it at the time saying it was just a tweak but he hasn't played since. Colts fans hope that this is just the team being cautious.
So there you go. Not a very in-depth analysis but I hope you find it illuminating. What do you see that's different about the Ravens team that will come to Indy this Saturday?