10 Best Highlights from Colts vs. Ravens

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10 Best Highlights from Colts vs. Ravens
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Ray Lewis looking like Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles.

Ray Lewis' NFL career will survive at least one additional week, because the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Indianapolis Colts 24-9 in the AFC Wild Card matchup.

Andrew Luck was sacked three times, was responsible for each of Indy's two turnovers (one fumble, one pick) and was unable to get the Colts into the end zone. Interestingly enough, Baltimore lost the time-of-possession battle by 15 minutes and still won in convincing fashion.

Anquan Boldin had a career day with 145 yards on only five receptions. He also scored once.

Joe Flacco was rarely pressured and, unsurprisingly, the Ravens offense consistently moved the ball and capitalized on Indy's miscues. Here, we check out some of the biggest plays between the Colts and Ravens.

 

Ray Lewis Comes Out of the Locker Room

Words cannot describe what Ray Lewis means to Baltimore, its fans, the position of linebacker and leadership in pro football. He's simply a legend and embodies the soul of the Ravens.

 

Paul Kruger's Strip-Sack of Andrew Luck

The Ravens sacked Andrew Luck three times, and 2.5 were courtesy of Paul Kruger, who also had five total hits on the rookie quarterback. Forcing a fumble here was significant, because Indy was driving and facing a 3rd-and-5 in Ravens territory.

The fumble occurred on the 13th play of a long drive by the Colts. In short, this was a gut-wrenching turnover that totally altered the complexion of this game.

 

Ray Rice Takes a Screen 47 yards to Setup a Touchdown

With the game tied at three apiece, Baltimore needed a spark.

Well, who better to rely on than Ray Rice? He is among the best running backs in football and is quite impressive at accumulating yards after contact and after the catch.

On 1st-and-10, Rice took a screen pass 47 yards to set up a Vonta Leach score. The play gave the Ravens some much-needed momentum.

 

Colts Get a 52-yard Field Goal From Adam Vinatieri Just Before the Half

There wasn't much action during the entire first half, but Indianapolis got help from its reliable kicker Adam Vintatieri. Connecting from 52 yards out before halftime, Vinatieri's field goal pulled the Colts within four points.

At this stage of the contest it was certainly shaping up to be a nail-biting finish. That is, until the second half kicked off.

 

Ravens Open Up Second Half With Big Strike to Anquan Boldin

Baltimore received the second half kickoff, but immediately found itself in a tough position. Flacco was sacked for 13 yards, and Baltimore faced a 3rd-and-19 from its own nine-yard line.

Hoping for a big play, Flacco launched one downfield and Anquan Boldin made a spectacular catch. Not only did this reception flip the field position, but it gave the Ravens more confidence in challenging Indy's coverage.

 

Anquan Boldin Goes Deep Again in the Third Quarter

Just like the play above, Flacco looked to Boldin for a big completion.

He responded once again, by hauling in a pass down the sidelines for 46 yards. Shortly after came Dennis Pitta's catch and run for a touchdown (next video).

We must, however, credit Boldin's grab, which got the Ravens into the red zone.

 

Dennis Pitta Extends Baltimore's Lead By Scoring From 20 Yards Out

Leading 10-6 almost midway through the third quarter, Baltimore had to take advantage of the excellent momentum after another deep snag from Boldin.

Settling for a field goal here would have easily allowed the Colts to stay in the game, so a touchdown was imperative. This time Flacco dialed up Pitta, and the tight end reached the zone for a 20-yard touchdown reception.

The Ravens increased their lead to 17-6 and never looked back.

 

Vick Ballard Gives Indy a Boost With a 24-yard Scamper

Indianapolis was on the brink of tying Baltimore early in the fourth quarter.

Right after Luck had connected with veteran receiver Reggie Wayne for 19 yards, rookie ball-carrier Vick Ballard bolted for 24 yards. The run put the Colts near the red zone and gave them momentum with plenty of time remaining.

Not long after this run, however, Vinatieri missed a field goal and the Colts got nothing out of another strong drive.

 

Bernard Pierce Bowls For 43 Yards on 3rd-and-1

On Baltimore's ensuing possession, which came after the Colts missed a field goal, nothing was quite yet out of reach. The Ravens only lead 17-9 and lined up on 3rd-and-1 from their own 39-yard line.

A stop here by the Colts gives Luck another opportunity to go down and score. And that's quite realistic given how consistently well Indy was moving the rock. Instead, Baltimore's rookie running back Bernard Pierce ruined everything for the Colts.

Receiving the handoff, Pierce rolled for 43 yards and put the Ravens inside the red zone. From there, a touchdown by Boldin put Baltimore up 24-9 with a little over nine minutes remaining.

 

Cary Williams Intercepts Andrew Luck, Seals Victory For Baltimore

Down 24-9 and facing a 4th-and-1 with less than six minutes to play, Luck and the Colts had to move the chains.

Failing to score here would end the contest and send Indianapolis back home. Unfortunately, Luck was intercepted by Cary Williams.

This is no surprise, though, because Williams finished the regular season with a team-leading four picks and 17 defended passes. He's a proven playmaker on a Ravens defense that kept Indy from reaching the end zone.

 

Follow John Rozum on Twitter.

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