Over the past decade, the Baltimore Ravens have not been able to beat the Indianapolis Colts and many of their losses were close games that the Colts were able to find a way to win despite a valiant effort by the Ravens. A few of those losses were completely dominating performances, led by All-Pro QB Peyton Manning, who always played great chess matches with Ravens LB Ray Lewis, but he always found ways to hold onto the ball or get his team in scoing position to win the games.
Now the Colts come to Baltimore without their star quarterback and without a single win in the 2011 NFL regular season. They will also leave the Colts' original city without a win later this afternoon and perhpas even be on the losing end of not just the game, but a lopsided one at that.
I venture to say that the Ravens would win this game even if Manning was healthy and playing this season, as the Indianapolis defense is just that bad ad the Ravens offense is so much improved from those Ravens teams of the past that couldn't muster much of an offense even against the poor Colts defense. At the same time, the Ravens defense might be as good, if not better than the 2006 one was that should have beaten the Colts in the playoffs but lost despite holding them without a touchdown.
Now the Ravens have a chance to exorcise the demons of past seasons and put a foot on the throats of a win-less Colts and should not only beat them, but beat them badly. This is one game that should be a bit different to Ravens fans in that if ahead by a comfortable margin, most long-time Baltimore fans would love to see the team try to score as many points as possible regardless of any post-game comments about running up the score.
The Ravens offense is better than the Colts' offense, the ravens defense is better than the Colts' defense, and the Ravens Special Teams is better than the Colts' Special Teams. There is no reason this should not be an overwhelming victory in every phase of the game. Expect no letdown against a lesser team that has plagued the Ravens this season, as this game is not only at home where Baltimore has defended its turf to the tune of a perfect 6-0 record this season, but this is also a game the players know the city needs to win and win big.
The running game should be unleashed and the passing game should connect on short and long passes, while the defense should be able to shut down the Colts' offense that put 24 points, most of them late, on what seems to be a weak New England Patriots defense last week. No way they score that many on the Ravens, and don't be so shocked if the game is close to, if not a shutout that the fans would relish.