The Ravens Win If/The Colts Win If…
The Baltimore Ravens have a tough test ahead of them as they travel to Indianapolis. The Colts have never lost the Ravens at Lucas Oil Field, a place the Ravens have had horrible days at. Much of that was because of Peyton Manning. Now the house that Manning built belongs to Andrew Luck. As rough of a spot as this is for the Ravens, its also a tough game for the Colts.
The prevailing thought is that Andrew Luck and company will exploit the Ravens secondary. The Colts receiving group (at least on paper) is primed to have a great day. The Colts have home field advantage. The Ravens are stepping into their own little house of horrors.
Beating the Ravens though is more complicated than stomping through the secondary. The Colts must stop the Ravens running game. If the Colts make the Ravens one dimensional-like the Bengals did-it behooves their chances.
So for the Colts side of the coin its quite clear. The Colts need to use and up tempo offense that creates mismatches in the secondary. They need to stop the Ravens run game and relentlessly pressure Joe Flacco.
The Ravens have match ups that work to their advantage. The Colts defense has not been stellar this season. The Ravens offensive line will be quicker and stronger than the Colts defensive line. The Colts secondary has had many issues, and Flacco has been fire. The Colts offensive line is a train wreck.
The Ravens have to have a balanced offensive attack. When the Ravens have stayed balanced, or even run heavy, Joe Flacco has played sensationally. Steve Smith is off to one of the best years in his long career. The Ravens just need to keep doing what they are doing offensively. Defensively they must not give up the big play and pressure Andrew Luck. Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil have to get to Luck and the safety play has to be better.
The beautiful thing about this match up is that it could go either way. Either the Colts please their home crowd and Luck has a big day; or the Ravens control the game with the running game and pressure Luck. Its hard to pick the Ravens, as much as I’d like to do so. Going to Indianapolis has never been good for the Ravens. If I am wrong and the Ravens win it will be huge.