Weeks of rest pay off as the Colts move on to the AFC championship game
After a 1st round bye and playing at less than full strength the prior 2 weeks the Colts came out looking impressive against the Ravens. In the opening drive the offense moved the ball but had to settle for a field goal. With their first possession Baltimore took the ball and drove the length of the field however the Indy defense stood strong inside the 10 yard line and forced the Ravens to settle for 3 points. The Ravens would not score again.
Although the offense will receive praise for finding their timing after such a lengthy layoff, the Indianapolis defense was the real story. Gary Brackett and his defensive brethren played inspired football throughout the evening. They consistently put pressure on Joe Flacco, stifled the rushing attack, and limited the effectiveness of the wide receivers. Additionally the D caused 2 interceptions by Flacco and a fumble by Ray Rice. Once again when in the spotlight the defense stepped up and silenced its critics.
The offense appeared to be in their usual form on this night. They were held to only a field goal in the 1st quarter and kept in check by the strong Ravens’ defense for most of the 2nd quarter. Manning threw for his first touchdown pass to Austin Collie with 2 minutes remaining in the half. Due to poor clock management by Flacco and company the Colts got the ball back quickly with another chance to score before the half. With 3 ticks left on the clock Reggie Wayne reeled in a touchdown to make the score 17-3.
The second half saw both defenses control the game. One of the biggest plays of the night came when Ed Reed intercepted a pass only to be stripped by a pursuing Pierre Garcon, giving the ball back to Indy. Really an outstanding, heads up play by Garcon in a critical spot. Matt Stover tacked on another field goal before it was all said and done. The AFC south champs take this one 20-3. They’ll move on to face either the Jets or Chargers next Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium for the AFC Championship
About the Author
Written by Martin Foster
Martin H. Foster is the author of "The 2nd Round Submission" and host of "Verbal Submission Radio" Follow him at www.twitter.com/MHMFoster