Sunday, January 10, 2010
Quick Take: Ravens at Colts
By James Walker
Three things to know about next Saturday's Ravens-Colts divisional playoff game:
1. Manning a detriment: Only a handful of quarterbacks have given Baltimore's tough defense trouble over the years, and Peyton Manning is definitely one of them. The Indianapolis Colts quarterback is 7-2 all time against the Ravens, which includes a 17-15 victory over the Ravens on Nov. 22. In nine games against Baltimore, Manning has thrown for 17 touchdowns with just seven interceptions.
2. Stay hot: Baltimore is a very tough out in the postseason, and that breeds a lot of confidence. The Ravens are 3-1 in their past four postseason games dating to last season. They defeated the AFC East champion New England Patriots on Sunday and division champs Miami Dolphins and Tennessee in 2008. All three victories were on the road. Baltimore second-year head coach John Harbaugh seems to have the right playoff formula to get the Ravens motivated and peaking at the right time.
3. Secondary is key: The Ravens don’t have a lot of holes, but one glaring weakness throughout the season has been the play of their secondary. But Baltimore’s most maligned unit responded well against New England, forcing three interceptions and holding Pro Bowl quarterback Tom Brady to just 154 passing yards. Players such as Ed Reed, Dawan Landry, Domonique Foxworth and Frank Walker all made big plays Sunday. Manning will throw a lot as well. So it will be important for Baltimore's secondary to build off that momentum and continue to play well.