Found January 02, 2013 on
Ravens Football Machine:
New York Giants
Everyone's talking about the Andrew Luck factor and the Chuck Pagano variable in this one, but I think the Ravens have trumped all of that with their intelligent rationing of the physical health of their best players.
The Ravens therefore should crush the visiting Colts on Wild Card Weekend...
Realistically Andrew Luck and the Colts should be no match for what the Ravens' defense is about to bring down upon them. And the Ravens' offense will be healthier, too.
Ray Lewis (ILB) is back and will play at least a few significant snaps. Terrell Suggs (OLB) is rested and will wreak havoc in both pass rushing and coverage. Bernard Pollard (SS) will return and bring pressure from the defensive backfield. Ed Reed (FS) will be playing centerfield again. Marshal Yanda (RG) will return to anchor the offensive line and pave the road for Ray Rice in the running game. And perhaps most importantly of all, a well-rested Haloti Ngata (DT) will blow away the Colts' zone-block and screen game.
Baltimore’s defense – and the team in general – could be at its healthiest point in a long time now that it heads into the playoffs.
Head Coach John Harbaugh chose to rest a number of his starters in Sunday’s regular-season finale in Cincinnati. That strategy, plus the natural return of several players, has Baltimore amped.
“This is the first time we get a chance to get our defense back, we're excited and ready to roll,” safety Bernard Pollard said after the game.
“We look at this as a chance to show our fans, show our coaches, show the city and show the opposing team we're here to play. We got to show what we're made of.”
Pollard missed the final three weeks of the regular season with a rib injury, but said he could have played Sunday against Cincinnati.
Suggs played two games through a biceps injury, but got some extra rest by being deactivated on Sunday.
The Ravens have been patient with Lewis, who missed the final 10 games of the regular season. Lewis was eligible to return to the field two weeks ago, but Baltimore gave him extra time to strengthen his triceps.
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (knee) sat out the last game and cornerback Jimmy Smith (abdomen) has been working back slowly after surgery. He didn’t play against the New York Giants, but was back in Cincinnati and made four tackles.
“Jimmy looks like he’s getting better,” Harbaugh said. “He’s played his best game obviously since he’s been hurt. That will be a big bonus for us if we can be 100 percent.”
Harbaugh said the benefit of giving players a week off varies by the player and their specific injury. But it certainly can’t hurt.
The Ravens have only had two defensive starters play every game this season – safety Ed Reed and cornerback Cary Williams. Now they should have their full arsenal against the Colts.
The defense was even playing well down the stretch despite missing players.
It stifled Eli Manning and the New York Giants with just 14 points allowed. Even the Ravens’ second teamers held the first-team Bengals offense and quarterback Andy Dalton without a touchdown until the final minute of the first half.
It’s not just the defense that is healthier. The Ravens offense was able to rest Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda for the finale, and wide receiver Anquan Boldin didn’t have to test his bruised shoulder.
Right tackle Kelechi Osemele and fullback Vonta Leach suffered leg injuries in Cincinnati, but Harbaugh said both will be fine for Sunday’s game.
“That’s our goal, to be playing our best when the best is needed,” tight end Ed Dickson said. “I think we're very ready. Another good week of practice, we had a chance to get guys healthy, we’re going to be firing on all cylinders.
“Put it all together and the sky’s the limit for this team.”
BEST OF MAXIM
Colts QB Andrew Luck leads his team into Baltimore for the first playoff game of his career.
The Indianapolis Colts meet the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the playoffs Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. This game is not without interesting story lines.
1). Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano, one week after returning to the sidelines following a three month absence during which he...
The 2012 NFL Playoffs are set, and now is the time to think about the potential Super Bowl XLVII matchups we could have in the Big Easy. It always seems the NFL season goes by quick when it gets here and it sure has. Just last year we were talking about whether the Indianapolis Colts would keep both Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, maybe pass on Andrew Luck to keep Peyton Manning...
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is growing up.
His completion percentage has taken a hit over the past few weeks and his quarterback rating is nowhere close to what he would like. But after averaging more than one interception per game through the first 15 weeks of the season, the No. 1 overall draft...
Now that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has announced that he’ll be retiring at the end of this season, Richard Deitsch of SI.com is reporting that he’ll be signing on with ESPN to prepare for life after football.Multiple sources told SI.com the Ravens linebacker is close to signing a multi-year contract with the network. At ESPN, Lewis is expected to have a significant...
THE FASHIONABLE MALE
We already know Jim Irsay as the bro who never had to grow up. Little known fact about bros: they never have to grow up if their dad is there to hand them an NFL team when they become of age. And that’s the story of Jim Irsay and why he gets to spend his life tweeting classic rock lyrics while being the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. Playoff time is coming. The Colts are involved...
I understand that not everyone hates the Ravens as much as I do. That’s fair. Part of my hatred is borne of homerism and most of you have different rooting interests than I. But a good chunk of my hatred for the Ravens is because of Ray Lewis and I am quite certain that I am not alone in my contempt for Ray-Ray. Even if you believe Ray-Ray had nothing to do with some guy getting...
Indianpolis Colts owner Jim Irsay loves Twitter way too much. When he’s not using it to try to build anticipation about a Colts trade or free agent signing, he’s tweeting out things that make him sound like a 15-year-old girl. And when he’s not doing that, he’s tweeting out pictures of himself dressed like an absolute d-bag.
Irsay tweeted the photo you see above on Wednesday...
The Indianapolis Colts returned to the playoffs just one season after finishing with the worst record in the league, and actually won 11 games. Obviously, they hit payday with the selection of Andrew Luck. And owner Jim Irsay couldn’t be happier about their game this weekend against the Ravens. He is so excited that he Tweeted not once, but twice! Same picture, slightly different...
Football is a game full of emotions and momentum swings. The motivation for such swings can come from something as common as a touchdown or a turnover, or it could come from something as unexpected as a teammate’s inspiring sermon before the game.
The NFL faced the fate of losing one of its great ambassadors of the game on Wednesday, when arguably the most emotional and motivational...
The NFL’s long awaited elimination tournament arrives in full force this weekend with four wild card matchups on the schedule. The Ravens welcome familiar AFC rival, the Indianapolis Colts, into M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m. for their first round showdown between the conference’s fourth and fifth seeds. Baltimore finished the regular season at 10-6, and wanders...
Sunday was quite a day at Lucas Oil Stadium.It marked the return of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano back to the sideline, a 28-16 victory over AFC South rival Houston, and a halftime show featuring a monkey wearing an Andrew Luck jersey while riding a dog.Yeah, add this one to the "things you don't see everyday" category. It definitely deserves such a tag.Indy is slated...