BALTIMORE – In this playoff game, one great storyline had to keep going.
Would it be the somewhat charmed season of the Colts in honor of their coach Chuck Pagano? Would it be the swan song for Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis, who announced he’ll be done with football when his team’s season ends?
They are angles which combined with the heightened stakes of the post-season created an even more electric atmosphere at M&T Bank Stadium for the Wild Card match-up between Baltimore and Indianapolis.
In the end, however, it was a more experienced Ravens team that won out, owning the second half in a 24-9 victory Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.
The Colts improbable season comes to an end with an overall record of 11-6, surpassing many of the pre-season expectations for the squad.
“We had opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize on them,” said head coach Chuck Pagano of the loss. “They made the plays when they had to and we didn’t.”
Coming into a hostile environment the Colts held their own for most of the contest. The first half featured an exchange of field goals before the Ravens got into the endzone with just two-minutes left when Vonta Leach scored from two-yards out to make it 10-3. Andrew Luck, however, led a quick drive down the field in the final minute and got in position for an Adam Vinatieri 52-yard field goal to make it 10-6 at the break.
Baltimore asserted themselves midway through the second half when Joe Flacco hit Dennis Pitta for a 20-yard touchdown to give the Ravens their biggest lead at 11. The Colts had another long drive stall in Baltimore territory and had to settle for another Vinatieri field goal to cut the lead to 8.
Once again Flacco got the Ravens into the endzone when he found Anquan Boldin in the corner of the endzone for a score to push the lead to 24-9. From there on out, the Ravens defense held serve. They forced a Vinatieri missed field goal and then picked off Luck as the Colts were driving late in the fourth to seal the game and end the Colts’ season.