INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts will get an extra day to prepare for their first playoff game under Chuck Pagano.
Late Sunday night the NFL announced the Colts will play their AFC Wild Card game with the Ravens at 1 PM on Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.
The Colts could have had to play on Saturday afternoon or evening but instead the team will keep the start time which they have been accustomed to this season. In all but two of their game this season the Colts have started at 12 or 1 P.M. depending on the time zone which they were playing.
It will be the second meeting between the teams in just over a year. On December 11, 2011, the Ravens sent the Colts to their 13th consecutive loss 24-10 at M & T Bank Stadium.
In the playoffs, however, the Colts have had good luck against Baltimore having won their two previous meetings. On their way to a Super Bowl XLI championship, Indianapolis beat the Ravens in Baltimore 15-6 in their Divisional Playoff Match-Up. In 2009 the Colts hosted the Ravens in another Divisional Playoff game and again it was Indianapolis who came out on top 20-3 on’ their way to Super Bowl XLIV.
The biggest sidebar to the game will be the return of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano to Baltimore, where he was an assistant before coming to Indianapolis in January of 2012.
“You know, going back to Baltimore, obviously there’s some familiarity there,” said Pagano. We had four great years there as a family. Top-notch organization, really goodfootball club. It’ll be a great challenge, they’ve got a great team, andthey’ve got great players all over the place.
“So if that’s the case, if that happens, it’ll be a great test for us obviously.”
Many of the players learned the news of their opponent shortly after they beat the Texans 28-16 in their season finale at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“It doesn’t matter to us. We’ll play in the parking lot. We just want to go out there and play football and be in this dance, which we are and just go out there and play against the best,” said defensive end Dwight Freeney whether opponent in the playoffs makes the game any different. “Our goals, we have to accomplish these goals.”