Ravens heading to Denver; The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

An emotional home crowd at M&T Bank Stadium had lots to celebrate today, as the Baltimore Ravens beat the Indianapolis Colts 24-9. Ray Lewis will never take the field again in Baltimore; but he and his Ravens teammates will be in Denver next week for the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs.

The Good:

1) After the Colts started the game with a 15 yard gain from Avery on the ground, the Ravens held Indianapolis to 1 yard over the next 3 plays to force the punt.

2) Jones returned the Colts initial punt 34 yards to the Baltimore 48.

3) On the Ravens first series, Flacco had a roll out where he connected with Dickson for 24 yards, taking the ball to the Colts 25 yard line.

4) Indianapolis’ 2nd series saw Lewis getting behind the line of scrimmage to make a stop on Ballard for a 1 yard loss. Later in that series, Kruger got pressure (for the 2nd time on that drive), and stripped Luck to cause the fumble which was recovered by McPhee. The Colts had reached the Baltimore 30 when the fumble was recovered, so Indianapolis missed the opportunity for potential points.

5) On 3rd and 7 during the Colts 3rd drive, Ellerbe brought pressure off the edge, causing Luck to scramble and be tackle. Indianapolis was forced to punt for the 2nd time.

6) Baltimore’s 3rd series began just prior to the end of the 1st Quarter. Pierce started the drive with a 6 yard gain between the tackles. Another 5 yards from Pierce gave the Ravens a 1st down at the Baltimore 40. Torrey Smith would then go high for a 22 yard gain down the field. This set up 1st and 10 at the Colts 38. Pierce had another strong run, getting 5 more yards, to set up a manageable 2nd and 5. Pitta fought through traffic for an 8 yard gain, as the chains again moved. Running behind Yanda, Pierce set up 1st and Goal with a 18 yard run to the Colts 8. The Ravens were unable to find the end zone, but added Tucker’s first FG for a 3-0 lead.

7) The Colts went 3 and out on their 1st series of the 2nd Quarter.

8) Rice picked up 13 yards on 2nd and 5 from the Ravens 25 on Baltimore’s first full drive of the 2nd Quarter.

9) The Colts had a 2nd and 8 from the Ravens 30 with under 4 minutes to go in the 1st half. Kruger and Graham converged on Luck for a sack, and a 6 yard loss. The Colts were forced into a FG attempt, which was converted to tie the game at 3.

10) With the game tied at 3, Jones took the Colts kickoff to the Ravens 37. Baltimore started the drive with 2:18 left on the 1st half clock. Rice began the series with a 4 yard run. Coming out of the 2 minute warning, Rice picked up 2 more. On 3rd and 4, Flacco and Jones connected for 8 yards on a slant route. On 2nd and 10 from midfield, Rice got an inside screen for 47 yards to the Colts 2. T. Smith had a great block on the play. Leach punched it in, giving the Ravens the 10-3 lead with the extra point.

11) Baltimore had possession to start the 2nd half. After being sacked on 2nd down, the Ravens faced 3rd and 19 from their 9. Flacco and Boldin were able to connect for a 50 yard gain down the field, crossing into Colts territory. The drive would end in a punt, but the Boldin catch got the Ravens out of poor field position.

12) On the Colts 1st series of the 3rd Quarter, Suggs got pressure on 2nd down. On 3rd down, there was a high snap to Luck, and Kruger just crushed the young Indianapolis QB.

13) Coming off a bootleg, Flacco found Boldin to start the Ravens 2nd drive of the 3rd Quarter. The 10 yard gain took the Ravens out to their 35. On 2nd and 6, Flacco dropped a deep throw over Boldin’s shoulder for 46 yards. Great throw from Flacco, great concentration from Boldin. On 2nd and 15 from the Colts 20, Pitta went across the field for the score. T. Smith had another nice block on the play. With the extra-point, the Ravens took the 17-6 lead.

14) The 4th Quarter started with the Ravens facing 2nd and 9 from their 21. Flacco delivered a beautiful 21 yard strike to Boldin.

15) With the Colts facing 2nd and 10 from the Ravens 23, Ngata made a nice play in run support. An Ellerbe blitz on 3rd and 9 forced a quick throw from Luck, and a 40 yard attempt from Vinatieri, which was missed.

16) After Vinatieri’s 4th Quarter miss, Flacco started the Ravens drive without 9 yard out to Smith. On a crucial 3rd and 1, Pierce ran through a huge whole (courtesy of Leach), for 43 yards to the Colts 18. On 2nd and 10, Flacco and Boldin came together for a beautiful throw and catch for the score. Great hands and effort from Boldin. With the extra point, the Ravens took a 24-9 lead with just over 9 minutes remaining.  The drive went 70 yards over 5 plays, and took 2:30 off the clock.

17) Cary Williams’ interception on 4th and 1, pretty much ended the game, as the Ravens took over with a 15 point lead and 5 minutes remaining in the 4th.

18) Kruger had a monster game today. 2.5 sacks, forced fumble, and a pass defensed.

19) Pierce had 103 yards on 13 carries.

20) Boldin had 145 yards on 7 catches, including the TD.

21) The Ravens gained over 8 yards per play.

22) With Reid out, the Ravens went to the offensive line alignment went wanted to see all year – McKinnie at LT, Osemele at LG, and Oher at RT. I was a bit surprised and concerned about making that change right before this game, but it absolutely worked out.

The Bad:

1) The Colts faced 3rd and 7 on their 14 yard line on their 2nd drive. Luck was able to get out of traffic, and scramble for a 1st down. Later on that drive, C. Brown was charged with pass interference. On 2nd and 6, Hilton made a man miss on a WR screen, to pick up another 1st. After Kruger was not able to wrap up on 2nd and 4, Luck was able to find Wayne for 9 yards and a 1st down on the following play. While the drive ended in a Colts fumble, it was a 14 play, 7+ minute drive.

2) The Ravens went 3 and out on their 2nd drive, with Flacco getting away with a potential pick 6 on 3rd down.

3) Baltimore’s 3rd drive saw the Ravens get to 1st and Goal from the Colts 8. Pierce gained 3 yards on 1st down. Flacco and Doss were not able to connect on 2nd down. Flacco went intentionally high to Pitta on 3rd down, and the TE was not able to make the grab. The Ravens were forced to settle for a FG.

4) After a Ngata deflection on the Colts 1st drive of the 2nd Quarter, Lewis dropped an easy interception.

5) Prior to the start of the Ravens 1st full drive of the 2nd Quarter; C. Brown picked up his 2nd penalty of the game on the Colts punt. This backed up Baltimore, forcing the Ravens to start from their 20. A 16 yard difference.

6) Koch had a great 50 yard punt to the Colts 2 yard line, ending the Ravens 1st full series of the 2nd Quarter. D. Reed was charged with a penalty as he went out of bounds, and was the first to touch the ball. This allowed the Colts to start their 2nd drive of the 2nd Quarter from their 20.

7) The Colts picked up 3rd and 5 with a 8 yard gain to Wayne on their 2nd drive of the 2nd Quarter. That was followed with a 22 yard gain to Allen. On 2nd and 10 from the Baltimore 45, Allen would gain 13 more. The Colts would tie the game at 3 on that series.

8) On the Ravens 1st series of the 3rd Quarter, Flacco was sacked by Mathis for a big loss. Later on that drive, Boldin was charged with offensive pass interference. A better throw from Flacco would have allowed the Ravens to convert 3rd and 18 on the attempt to Doss. Instead, the Ravens were forced to punt.

9) The Colts converted 2nd and 12 on their first series of the 3rd Quarter, with Wayne being covered by Ellerbe in the slot.

10) On 2nd and 10 from the Colts 15, Oher was charged with a false start in the 3rd Quarter.

11) Facing 3rd and 4 on their 2nd series of the 3rd Quarter, Luck found Brazill for 17 yards over the middle. Several plays later, the Colts faced 3rd and 2 around midfield. Luck was able to escape pressure, and scramble for the 1st. For the 3rd time on the drive, the Colts converted 3rd and short, as Luck found Ballard on a little dump off. This gave Indianapolis a 1st down at the Ravens 32. On 2nd and 12, Luck went right over and past Lewis for a 20 yard strike to Wayne. On 3rd and 4 from the Ravens 8, the Colts run of 3rd down conversions ended. A Vinatieri FG made it a 17-9 game with 40 seconds left in the 3rd Quarter. The Colts drive lasted 15 plays, going 72 yards, over nearly 8 minutes.

12) Rice fumbled for the 2nd time early in the 4th Quarter.

13) After Rice’s 2nd fumble, the Colts took over from their 29. Wayne had a 19 yard catch. That was quickly followed by a 24 yard run from Ballard to the Ravens 23. Cody was charged with being the 12th man on the field, giving the Colts 1st and 10 from the Baltimore 18. Vinatieri would miss his FG attempt, but it was concerning to see the Colts rip off several big plays and quickly be on the Ravens door-step.

14) With 8 minutes left in the 4th Quarter, the Colts faced 3rd and 3 from their 43. For the 7th time, the Colts picked up a 3rd down conversion – as Avery had a 7 yard catch to midfield. On 3rd and 5 from the Baltimore 45, Luck ran for another 1st, gaining 18 yards. This advanced the Colts to the Baltimore 27 with 6 minutes left.

15) Ellerbe had to leave the game with an injury.

16) The Colts were 9 of 20 on 3rd down.

The Ugly:

1) The Ravens first drive had Baltimore facing 2nd and 6 from the Indianapolis 11 yard line. Rice’s fumble took points off the board for the Ravens.

2) After the Ravens scored their initial TD, the Colts took-over from their 20 with 50 seconds left. They were able to cross into Ravens territory, before Kruger made a play in pass coverage, and Ellerbe again got pressure, causing a penalty on Luck. Facing 3rd and 26, Hilton and Luck connected for a 25 yard gain. This allowed Vinatieri the opportunity to kick a 52 yard FG as the half expired. This made FG made it a 10-6 game.

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About the author


Chris Stoner   

Operations Manager

Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, ESPN 1300, FOX 1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. You can reach him via email at Chris.Stoner@baltimoresportsandlife.com.


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