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Ravens vs Colts: game recap and notes

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NFL: Preaseason-Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens held on to win a thriller in Indianapolis tonight, let’s look back at the highs and lows.

First Quarter

The Colts kicked off the game with a kick return out to their own 33 yard line, and Andrew Luck stepped on the field for the first time in 2016. The defense had a hard time slowing down the Colts, allowing them to pick up big chunks through the air, as well as an Andrew Luck run for a first down. Eric Weddle led a defensive stand with the Colts in the red zone, holding the Colts to just a field goal.

3-0 Colts

Kenneth Dixon stepped out to return the Colts kick as the first look at the returner competition. Dixon was never able to find a seam, and was stopped around the 15. Joe Flacco had the night off for the second straight week, meaning Ryan Mallett started once again. Justin Forsett stepped on the field for the first time this preseason, but only gained one yard on two carries. The Ravens couldn't convert on third down, but we're bailed out with a Colts penalty on fourth, keeping the drive alive. The Ravens would however punt three plays later.

The Ravens defense continued to struggle on the Colts second possession. The pass rush couldn’t get near Luck, and thus gave Luck time to find holes in the secondary. Matt Elam was solid on the back end though, not letting anything get by him.

Start of Second Quarter

The Ravens fortunes changed immediately with the start of the new quarter. Jimmy Smith hit Colts tight end Dwayne Allen, and Albert McClellan came from behind to strip the ball, Eric Weddle recovered the fumble and the boys in purple took over.

After two good runs by Forsett, and a screen turned into a 19 yard gain by Terrance West, Kamar Aiken drew a pass interference penalty worth 44 yards, putting the Ravens in the red zone. Mallett hit Aiken on a slant route two players later for a 14 yard touchdown. Justin Tucker drilled the extra point, capping off a five play, 84 yard drive.

7-3 Ravens

The defense came back out looking solid, but a third-and-seven conversion compounded with a roughing the passer penalty on C.J Mosley turned the tide of the drive. The Ravens forced the Colts to kick a field goal, however, after Kamalei Correa tipped a pass from new Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien, which Zachary Orr almost intercepted. The Ravens caught a break as Adam Vinatieri would go on to miss a 47 yard field goal (this turned out to be huge).

The Ravens went three and out after the missed FG. The Colts got the ball back and a long drive down the field ensued. The defense had a hard time stopping the Colts on third downs, as well as struggling with penalties. Maurice Canady made up for a penalty of his own with a deflection that saved a touchdown, on a third down. This time Vinatieri drilled the field goal.

7-6 Ravens

Chris Moore and Jeremy Butler led the Ravens down the field with a perfectly executed two-minute drill. Moore had three catches and Butler had four on the drive. Butler caught a beautifully pass lobbed over his shoulder in the end zone for a score, capping a 59 yard drive and giving the ball back to the Colts with :31 left.

14-6 Ravens

Scott Tolzien takes a knee and the Ravens take a lead into the half.

End of First Half

First Half highlights

  • Eric Weddle leads goal-to-go stand
  • Terrance West screen for 19 yards
  • Albert McClellan forced fumble with Eric Weddle recovery
  • Kamar Aiken draws P.I. and follow is it up with a 14 yard touchdown
  • Kamalei Correa blocked pass
  • Brent Urban blocked pass
  • Anthony Levine Sr. run stop for loss
  • Maurice Canady touchdown saving deflection
  • The entire two minute drill drive

First half notes

  • The defense was very shaky. The pass rush had a hard time getting to the quarterback. The Colts were three for six on third down, a stat that is just too high. The defense allowed the Colts to drive down the field in big chunks, but were always able to step up and make a stop when the Colts got close. 184 yards allowed, but held the Colts to only two field goals. The pass rush and secondary weren’t great, but got better as the half went on. The team is still looking for their first sack.
  • Zachary Orr was fantastic, he w all over the field. Orr only had one tackle, but he was always around the play, and in the backfield. He also was inches from coming up with an interception.
  • The offensive line was solid, there was rarely any pressure on the quarterbacks. Not as good in the run game.
  • The running backs were not as good as they were last week either. Forsett leads the team with 5 carries for 11 yards, not a great start.
  • Quarterback play was stellar. Mallet only had two incompletions, and one was a pass dropped by Crockett Gillmore. Josh Johnson was great as well, going eight for nine on the spectacular two minute drill.

Start of Second Half

Not the start the Ravens wanted. Terrance West started with a good kick return and two great runs, but went off after second down with what appeared to be an injury (Update: he would be fine). Fourth string (third with Flacco not playing) quarterback Jerrod Johnson proceeded to throw a bad pass on third down which the Colts picked off.

The Colts were aided with a questionable pass interference call on Anthony Levine Sr. to get the ball within the 10 yard line. The Colts punched it in on fourth-and-goal. Matt Judon leveled Scott Tolzien on the Colts’ two point try, preserving the Ravens lead.

14-12 Ravens

Ravens try out recent signing Stephen Houston as a the kick returner, who brought the ball out to the 25. The ball quickly went back to the Colts following Jerrod Johnson being sacked on third down. Kenneth Dixon headlined the short drive as he ran the ball twice for 10 yards.

The two teams exchanged a few punts. To this point, Jerrod Johnson has been porous so far, and the offensive live hasn't helped him. Johnson has missed open receivers and had little time to throw. Dixon has had some big runs, including a screen on third and nine that Dixon turned into a shifty 12 yard gain.

Matt Judon sacked Tolzien for a huge loss on second down, the Colts would have to punt out of their end zone after they gained a few on third and 26. Michael Campanaro had an explosive 22 yard punt return setting up the Ravens with good field position. Josh Johnson takes over for the struggling Jerrod Johnson, and immediately makes an impact with a run for a first on third and 11.

End of Third Quarter

Good runs by Terrance West, and a fantastic throw by Johnson to Daniel Brown while being pushed out of the pocket get the Ravens within the red zone. The running backs were not able to punch it into the end zone. Will Lutz split the uprights with a 21 yard field goal.

17-12 Ravens

The teams traded punts methodically drove down the field, highlighted by a long run by quarterback Stephen Morris. The Ravens were unable to hold serve on the goal line, and the Colts punched it for the score.

17-18 Colts

Well this got wild quickly. The Ravens stopped the Colts short on their two point try, but an Anthony Levine Sr. offsides penalty let the Colts go for it again. Levine atoned in a huge way, picking off the Morris pass, and returning it to the house for two points for the Ravens, who very quickly regained the lead.

19-18 Ravens

The Ravens got the ball back, and ran down the clock to 1:02. Sam Koch launched a huge punt, putting the Colts at their own 12.

The Ravens allowed the Colts to get to around midfield, and a holding penalty on Patrick Onwuasor and a Willie Henry neutral zone infraction set up the Colts to kick 62 yard field goal. Pat McAfee’s kick was well short, and the Ravens held onto the win.

End of Game

Second Half highlights:

  • Anthony Levine Sr. returns interception on two point try all the way back
  • Michael Campanaro long punt return
  • Matt Judon sacks Tolzien twice in second half, once stopping a two point try, and the other pinning the Colts way back.
  • Josh Johnson’s multiple runs for first downs

Second Half notes:

  • Josh Johnson continued to look fantastic, making plays with his arms and legs.
  • The offensive line, wasn’t great, but the running game was much improved. West and Dixon continued their stellar performance from last week.
  • In the first half, the defense bent, but did not break. In the second half, the defense allowed the Colts to get within the 10 twice, and unlike the first half, let them in the end zone each time. The defense continued to struggle on third down. At the end of the game, the defense scared the crap out of all of us, letting the Colts get to midfield, and penalties allowing the Colts to take a shot at the game winning field goal.

Winners

  • Quarterbacks not named Jerrod- both Josh Johnson and Ryan Mallett were very efficient. Josh was especially impressive with his composure on third downs, and his running ability. Johnson is the co-player of the game with...
  • Anthony Levine Sr.- He was all over the field, playing both linebacker and defensive back. Played up on the line, and at the back end. Picked off a pass on a Colts two point try, and returned it all the way for two points for the Ravens.
  • Zachary Orr- Didn’t get many tackles, but made a huge impact. Always around the play, and in the back field a lot.
  • Chris Moore and Jeremy Butler- Butler and Moore were stellar on the two minute drill at the end of the first half.
  • Matt Judon- Laid out Scott Tolzien on two point try, and sacked Tolzien for a big loss near the Colts goal line.

Losers

  • Quarterbacks named Jerrod- played horribly, his chances for making the 53 were slim to none, but now are officially none.
  • Willie Henry- couldn’t build on last weeks strong outing, had a penalty at the end of the game that almost cost the team the win.
  • Javorius “Buck” Allen- Allen was inconsistent, stopped behind line a few times. Lost ground in competition to Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon.

The Ravens move to 2-0 and will face the Lions on August 27 in Baltimore.