Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/6/13
The final score might read as a blowout win for the playoff savy Baltimore Ravens over the young, upstart Indianapolis Colts, but this game was far from that.Both teams provided plenty of plays and miscues that will be talked about for days. The clock may have struck midnight to end the Colts fairytale season, but Football Nation will still reward the good, the bad and the ugly for this playoff encounter.The Good: The Ravens DefenseI’m going to use an old sports cliché to describe the play of the Ravens defense, as they were a cohesive unit on Sunday afternoon.Outside linebacker Paul Kruger couldn’t be blocked from the outside and repeatedly created havoc in the backfield. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck quickly learned that making mistakes against this emotionally-charged defense would prove to be costly. Continually, the Ravens defense made critical stops late in the fourth quarter that helped seal a win for their leader, Ray Lewis, in the final home game of his career.The Bad: The Colts SecondaryFirst off, we have to congratulate the Indianapolis Colts on a great season. But, they have only turned it around offensively, as their struggles in defending the pass was again exploited by an opposing quarterback in another bitter defeat.Cornerback Cassius Vaughn was horrible in pass coverage, as he was either getting beaten deep downfield or being called for pass inference. Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin recaptured his youth by out-leaping defenders for quarterback Joe Flacco’s jump ball passes. The outcome of this game confirms that changes must be made to the secondary in the offseason.The Ugly: Ray Rice’s fumblesThe only blemish on a good offensive performance for the Ravens was the two fumbles by star running back Ray Rice, who hadn’t turned the ball over yet this season.Thankfully, backup tailback Bernard Pierce provided a spark to the running game by rushing for 103 yards in the win. He’s been terrific in the latter part of the season, and could give head coach John Harbaugh an excuse to make a lineup change if Rice continues to struggle with holding on to the football.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Luke Maye sends North Carolina to the Final Four with game-winning shot

Singer Darius Rucker cries as South Carolina clinches Final Four berth

Rockets take shot at Westbrook's MVP candidacy

New info shows just how much Las Vegas wants Raiders

Tomlin: Steelers are preparing for Roethlisberger's retirement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bills reporter: 'Only a matter of time' before GM Whaley is fired

Report: Patriots, Revis have not discussed possible reunion

Video of LaVar Ball playing basketball surfaces and he doesn't look great

Reporter: Giants 'would not go near' Adrian Peterson

Report: Browns unlikely to give Josh Gordon another chance

Popovich: Owners interfering with player rest is risky

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker