Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Colts-Ravens: What you need to know
By ESPN Stats & Information
The Baltimore Ravens host the Indianapolis Colts at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs. Here are eight notes, nuggets and numbers you need to know heading into the matchup:
A league of their own
Joe Flacco is the only starting quarterback in NFL history to reach the playoffs in each of his first five seasons. John Harbaugh is the only head coach in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first four seasons. He’s the first head coach to reach the playoffs in his first five seasons since Bill Cowher, who made it in his first six seasons from 1992-97.
Improving by the week (maybe)
Andrew Luck has no turnovers in his last three games after leading the NFL with 23 turnovers in his first 13 games. But Luck has completed no more than half his passes in five straight games, which is tied for the second-longest streak by any starting QB in a season in the last 10 years.
Luck has thrown 10 interceptions on passes 15 or more yards downfield this season, tied with Mark Sanchez and Drew Brees for most in the league. Seven of Luck’s interceptions on such throws have come on the road, most in the NFL.
Not throwing downfield as much lately
Entering Week 15, Flacco had the second-highest average target depth (9.8 yards) in the NFL. Under new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, Flacco’s average target depth has dropped to 7.6 yards over the last three weeks. The Ravens are 7-1 this season when Flacco completes at least 40 percent of his passes more than 10 yards downfield. They are 3-5 when Flacco completes less than 40 percent of such passes, with all three wins coming against teams with losing records.
Relying on rookies
Colts rookies have combined for 3,108 yards from scrimmage this season, the most by any team’s rookies since the merger, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Not the same D
The Ravens defense allowed 49.1 rushing yards after contact per game this season, the 7th-most in the NFL. In both 2010 and 2011, the Ravens had allowed the 7th-fewest rushing yards after contact per game (38.5 in 2010, 44.1 in 2011).
But the D is better lately
The Ravens have allowed fewer than 200 yards in each of their last two games after allowing at least 280 yards in every other game this season.
Been there, done that
The Ravens are 5-1 in the Wild Card Playoffs, tied with the Redskins for the best record by any team in the Wild Card Playoffs (minimum four games).