AFC: Indianapolis Colts VS. Baltimore Ravens

By C. J. Gardner

The #4 vs. #5 seed game in the AFC is a match up between the current team in Baltimore and the former one, as the Baltimore Ravens will host the Indianapolis Colts at noon on Jan. 6th. The Colts (11-5) head to Baltimore even though they have the better record because the Ravens (10-6) are the AFC North division winner.

The Ravens head into the playoffs in a bit of a slump having lost four of their last five games. Even though the Ravens did not get a first round bye, they will be well rested after sitting most of their starters in their week 17 game against the Bengals and that might be just what the doctor ordered for the ailing Raven’s defense. Baltimore has had to deal with injuries for most of the year, including one to team leader, Ray Lewis, who looks set to make his return after being out since mid-October. With the defense not being as strong as it has been in the past, Joe Flacco and Co. have had to pick up the slack on offense. Flacco has proven he is no longer a bus driver for this offense and has a strong running game behind him with Ray Rice.

The Indianapolis Colts come into Wild Card Weekend on a wave of emotions after having their head coach, Chuck Pagano, back on the sidelines for their win against the Texans after returning from treatment for leukemia. The Colts head into the playoffs in good form having finished the regular season winning five of six. After finishing 2-14 last year, Andrew Luck has turned this team into a winner. Luck set the rookie record for passing yards and looks to be their franchise quarterback for years to come. The defense is not statistically great, but they do what they need to in order to win and have a strong pass rush with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis coming off the edges. The Colts possess a major advantage in the kicking game with Adam Vinatieri, while Baltimore will have to rely on rookie kicker Justin Tucker. Prediction: Look for the Colts to win on a last second field goal with the score being 23-20.


Watch It: Sun. Jan. 6 Noon CBS