It’s a good thing the Ravens had the emotional lift of Ray Lewis’ last game in Baltimore.
Because the game they played wasn’t as memorable, though it was good enough to buy the retiring linebacker another week.
A sharper second half by quarterback Joe Flacco led the Ravens to a 24-9 win over the Colts, sending them to the Divisional Round to play the Broncos next Saturday.
The Colts seemed poised to make a run, but a Donnie Avery drop of a third-down pass was followed by a missed field goal from playoff-clutch but 2012-average Adam Vinatieri , giving the Ravens a spark.
Flacco then pushed through the opening, hitting Anquan Boldin for his second touchdown pass of the half to cap things. Flacco finished the game 12-of-23 for 282 yards, enough deep-ball accuracy to overcome a pair of Ray Rice fumbles.
Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck was sharp at moments, but it was never more evident than today how good he is, because he isn’t surrounded by exceptional talent. The Colts need to invest in multiple starters on the offensive line and a more consistent running game if they want to keep the No. 1 overall pick upright and productive for years to come.
The Ravens dared him to throw by blitzing often, and there were times he made plays. But too often, he went down, and even his impressive fourth quarter abilities were hard to see under a pile of Ravens defenders.