NFL Playoff Predictions 2013: Baltimore Ravens Will Beat the Colts on Sunday

Jon ReidCorrespondent IIJanuary 3, 2013

The Ravens will try and win Sunday's showdown for No. 52 who announced that this will be his final NFL season.
The Ravens will try and win Sunday's showdown for No. 52 who announced that this will be his final NFL season.Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs are just days away.

With Wild Card games starting this Saturday, NFL fans around the world should be excited for the upcoming slate of games.

The 2013 Wild-Card matchups could be the best we've seen in years.

Not a single team enters the postseason with less than 10 wins, and the teams playing this weekend are some of the hottest in the league.

Sunday afternoon's tilt between the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts will feature a Ravens squad that has only lost at M&T Bank Stadium twice in the last two seasons and a young Colts team that enters Sunday's affair having won nine of their last 11 games.

Despite their current hot streak, however, the Ravens will emerge victorious on Sunday afternoon.

First and foremost, there is the matter of home-field advantage.

Between 2011 and 2012, the Ravens have compiled a home record of 15-2 (including last season's playoff home win against the Houston Texans).

A big reason for that has been Joe Flacco's dominance at home.

This season, Flacco was great at home, averaging nearly 300 yards per game through the air, while completing over 62 percent of his passes and throwing three touchdown passes for every interception.

Reason No. 2 for the Ravens being favorites to win this Sunday is Andrew Luck's inexperience and road struggles.

Just as Joe Flacco has noticeable differences in his statistics when he plays at home as opposed to playing road games, Andrew Luck has those same problems.

This season on the road, Luck has completed just 53.3 percent of his passes for under 280 yards per game and has thrown more interceptions (13) than touchdown passes (11).

In fact, most of the offense is pretty young, which could play to Baltimore's advantage with a raucous M&T Bank Stadium crowd.

Take for example Vick Ballard and T.Y. Hilton, two of the more prominent players on the offensive side of the ball. They are both rookies for Indianapolis. Can they both step up in a big way come Sunday against a healthier and pumped up Baltimore defense?

Health, in fact, is the third reason the Ravens should pull out the win on Sunday.

With Marshal Yanda, Haloti Ngata and Bernard Pollard ready to play on Sunday—after each of them has been rested the past few weeks in some capacity with nagging injuries—and the expected return of Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe, the Ravens defense will be almost as healthy as it has been all season.

That should bode well for Baltimore come Sunday.

Combine these factors with the fact that this is supposedly Ray Lewis' final playoff run, and the Ravens should be healthy enough and have plenty of motivation to win Sunday's Wild Card game against the Colts.