Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview, Prediction and Pick
To kick off the 2012-2013 NFL Wild Card action this Sunday afternoon, the incredible story of the Indianapolis Colts will head on the road to take on the Baltimore Ravens. The Colts officially went from having the first pick to locking up the fifth seed in the playoffs the very next year. They had a great year in large part to rookie quarterback Andrew Luck who led them here. The Baltimore Ravens on the other hand were able to win the AFC North over some tough competition, and now they get a home game against that Colts team on Sunday. Kickoff for this game is set for 1:00pm EST in Baltimore, and it has the potential to be one of the best games of the postseason.
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The Colts are going to rely on Andrew Luck and that arm, while their defense is going to have to find a way to shut down Ray Rice and the impressive running game. I'm expecting Joe Flacco to air it out a bit and really test the Colts defense, but they've played great recently and should be able to slow down the Ravens offense. Don't overlook this Colts team and their potential to pull off a first round upset. My one interesting player to watch in this game has to be running back Vick Ballard for the Colts though, as the Ravens run defense hasn't been overly impressive recently.
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The Ravens recently found out that their star defensive player Ray Lewis is going to retire at the end of this year, and that should hype them up in this game and give them even more to play for. No one wants to see Lewis go out on a bad note, and losing in this first round game would be just that. I think that the Ravens will keep feeding the ball to Rice to open up the field for Flacco which could lead to some big plays at the end of the day. That Ravens defense is going to need to have a strong game and force Andrew Luck into making some mistakes.
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It's a tough game to call, and I fully expected the Ravens to be favored in this game. The Colts definitely aren't getting enough love though, and while I expect the Ravens to pull off the win, I don't think it'll be by a large margin. The Colts have a ton of talent and a ton of motivated players who should step up in this game to keep it close throughout. I'm rolling with the Ravens to win it by a field goal and their defense to step up and slow down Luck and the Colts offense just enough to be able to pull out a win and move on to the next round.
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens- 24 Indianapolis Colts- 21
Pick: Indianapolis Colts +7
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