Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It was a hard fought game for the majority of the sixty minutes that the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts squared off at M&T Bank Stadium but in the end the Ravens proved to be the better team and moved on to the next round of the playoffs.
Today could have been Ray Lewis' last game in the NFL and for the first forty minutes of the game it looked like that may happen. The Ravens squandered chances to take big early leads with fumbles and dropped interceptions but as the game wore on it was quite obvious which team was going to impose their will upon the other. The Baltimore Ravens started to take advantage of their advantages, overcoming two Ray Rice fumbles the birds from Baltimore used Bernard Pierce and a huge game by Anquan Boldin to separate themselves from the Colts.
The defense looked amazing as they pressured Colts quarterback Andrew Luck all game long. The secondary made timely plays and played a big part in the Ravens pass rush as well. Linebacker Paul Kruger had his best playoff game and perhaps the best game of his career as he was harassing Luck all day and managed to defend a few passes as well. I sure hope the Ravens can find a way to keep him around in the future.
The star of the day Ray Lewis made several Ray-like plays, dropping running backs in the backfield and making tackles all over the field. Lewis had a fine day and has earned the right to move on to the next round with his play on the field, not just his legacy.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had a tough day facing the once again, daunting Ravens defense. He did however manage to show why he was the number one over all pick in the draft. He made big throws with pressure coming all around him and used his legs to pick up what were, at the time, crucial first downs. Luck has a bright future in the NFL.
The game was eventually put to rest when the Colts were driving late in the fourth quarter down by nearly 20 and Cary Williams picked off a pass that was tipped by Corey Graham and returned it a good 30 yards. The Ravens however promptly went three and out with a questionable pass play on third down which stopped the clock for the Colts. Then the refs threw another one of those horrible penalties on Bernard Pollard after he threw a completely clean hit on a Colts receiver who had already dropped the ball. Whatever, the NFL is what it is now-a-days. Shortly after that they threw another 15 yard penalty on Pollard for taunting. NFL= No Fun League. Harbaugh quickly removed Pollard from the game.
All in all the Ravens win should have been much more lopsided had the team not dropped so many open opportunities and made so many dumb mistakes. As much as this win means to this team, Ray Lewis and the city of Baltimore the Ravens definitely need a stern talking to from head coach John Harbaugh after a game which could have been played a bit more classy towards the end.
So, enough of that! Great win boys, celebrate for a day and then get back to work because there is a huge test waiting in the Mile High City that starts with quarterback Peyton Manning and ends with the Broncos defense. Besides, we have a Super Bowl to win so our work is far from over!!!