The Ravens treated the regular-season finale like a garden-variety preseason game. Baltimore’s wild-card playoff game will be anything but.
By losing to the Bengals on Sunday by the score of 23-17, the Ravens have locked in to the No. 4 seed. Which means that they’ll host the fifth-seeded Colts next weekend.
Which means that Jim Irsay will be loading up the Mayflower and returning to Baltimore, at least for a day.
The other connections are numerous, and intriguing. Colts coach Chuck Pagano served as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator in 2011. Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell served as Indy’s head coach through 2011. Some Ravens players shaved their heads in support of Pagano.
And the Colts look more than good enough to go to Baltimore and win the game — especially since the Ravens have looked bad enough lately to lose it.