Televised by CBS, the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts tangled cheek-to-cheek tonight in full-house Lucas Oil Stadium. Which team would prove athletic superiority and advance to the AFC Championship game? The Colts started the first quarter on offense. Matt Stover threw up a field goal at the end of his team’s first possession. Indianapolis 3 and Baltimore 0. An illegal block in the back on the Ravens nixed what would’ve been a sixty-four yard return for running back Jalen Parmele. Attempts to get into the end zone were no good. The Ravens tossed up a field goal as well. Indianapolis 3 and Baltimore 3.
The second quarter indicated how much stronger each team’s defense was compared to offense. Near interceptions, sacks, and punts galore. The offensive players certainly demonstrated skill, particularly with Peyton Manning’s complete passes, but with the score still 3 to 3 in the bottom of the quarter? And, of course, moments later, Colts wide receiver Austin Collie made a touchdown catch in the left side of the end zone. Indianapolis 10 and Baltimore 3. The Colts insisted on trying to get into the end zone in the final seconds of the first half. Peyton Manning threw, wide receiver Reggie Wayne caught and broke the plane ever so slightly for a TD. Indianapolis 17 and Baltimore 3.
The third quarter was mostly dull until around six minutes when safety Ed Reed intercepted Peyton Manning but lost control of the ball halfway down the field. Tight end Dallas Clark recovered it for the Colts. A penalty on Ravens cornerback Corey Ivy nullified a second Ed Reed interception. The fourth quarter started off the Colts getting another field goal. Indianapolis 20 and Baltimore 3. The Ravens showed some Ravens umph…until running back Ray Rice refused to be brought down and the ball got away from the crook of his left arm. The Colts recovered it. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was intercepted in the bottom of the quarter. Colts defensive back Antoine Bethea took the ball right out of its trajectory. Another turnover took the final minute with Colts defensive back Jerraud Powers picking off Joe Flacco. Indianapolis 20 and Baltimore 3. Final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf narrated the event.
2. Damned weather interfering with the digital signal. The broadcast was very stop-and-go in terms of audio and video for me.
5. Upon returning from the commercial break that followed Ray Rice’s ball loss, there was footage of what happened after the play. Rice went straight to the bosom of his quarterback, who tapped him on the head as if to say, “It’s okay.”
6. How in tarnations do the Ravens beat the Patriots a week ago and then not be able to have at least tied the Colts into the fourth quarter?
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