The Colts vs Ravens game is a match up of the old and new Baltimore teams. But this Colts vs Ravens game doesn’t have time for old Baltimore Colts memories. This time, the Colts and Ravens have their own modern day drama to worry about. Indianapolis is trying to stay perfect without help from the opposing coach, while Baltimore begins a stretch that will decide their season. The Colts vs Ravens may be a chance for Baltimore fans to get out any remaining anger at the Colts, but there are bigger stakes besides that.
For much of Sunday night, it looked like the Colts vs Ravens would be the first game for Indianapolis after they lost their perfect season. Bill Belichick, Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne fixed that, as everyone now knows. So the Colts go back to Baltimore with a still-perfect 9-0 record, and in complete control of their destiny.
The odds are long against Indianapolis blowing home-field advantage for the AFC playoffs, as they can wrap up the division and the top seed by this time next month, if things go smoothly. But with everyone still talking about Belichick and the Patriots more than the Colts, Peyton Manning, Jim Caldwell and company are still looking for recognition.
For the other side, the Colts vs Ravens is much more crucial. The Ravens started out looking like a Super Bowl contender, until they suffered three straight gut-wrenching losses. Now Baltimore is down to a 5-4 record, and playing catchup in the AFC North to both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. A wild card berth is still in reach, but it is going to be very hard getting there.
After facing the Colts, the Ravens still have their two grudge matches against Pittsburgh, and games against the Packers and Bears. It may be hard for Baltimore to get a winning record in these final seven games, but anything less means that they miss the playoffs.
The Colts vs Ravens game is therefore much more necessary for Baltimore, as they need to get off to a good start in this stretch. But although both teams won prime time games last week, the Colts were much more impressive, while the Ravens struggled against hapless Cleveland. Baltimore has to hope that their defense is finally back on track, and that the Colts are too hung over from Belichick’s gift.
A perfect season is at stake for one team, with an entire season possibly on the line for the other. The Colts vs Ravens game kicks off in Baltimore at 1 p.m. est on CBS.
Baltimore Sun- “Their cushion gone, Ravens now must face a harsh reality”
Yahoo Sports- “How do the Ravens stop Peyton Manning?”