It happens a lot in sports — match-ups come along and the team that has your number is next up — and you always meet the challenge by saying, “You’re damn right we want to play them!”
This morning’s foggy Indianapolis-based playoff hangover is dominated by a sobering thought: The Ravens can’t beat Indianapolis.
They can’t beat Peyton Manning.
They just can’t.
Mark it down: 8 straight losses to the Colts and in the last three, Baltimore hasn’t scored a touchdown. In 180 minutes of football, the Ravens have managed to accumulate a grand total of 7 field goals.
It’s hard to beat the Colts when you score 21 points in ONE game, let alone in three.
Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, not only did Baltimore not beat them, they didn’t really put up much of a fight. It was almost as if they knew the tough talk and the big purple win at New England wouldn’t faze the midwest bully.
It was a game for a while, or at least long enough for the Ravens to set up themselves for failure in their predictable manner.
Penalties at the worst time.
A sputtering offense with little ability to stretch the field from quarterback to pass catcher.
Ineffective clock and time-out management.
That’s how the Ravens lost most of the 7 games they had dropped this season prior to Saturday’s smelly steamer in Indy.
And that’s how they lost Saturday night.
The talk all week leading up to the game was centered on the bye week and how the Colts would handle all that “down time”. They looked OK to me. Then again, when you have the best quarterback on the planet and more wide receivers than the Ravens have team doctors, you probably should win.
Peyton Manning is just too good.
And for the last eight games, if nothing else, the Ravens simply don’t have an answer for him.
We shouldn’t feel too bad. After all, in the 14 games in which they actually tried to win this year, Indy’s record was unblemished. They’ve put together a nice balance of offense and defense, punctuated by the quarterback and the pass catchers but greatly enhanced by a franchise seemingly willing to do all the dirty work necessary for Peyton and Company to work their magic.
It’s one thing if you have a great offense but your defense stinks. The Colts have been down that road before and they never won anything when employing that strategy.
Now, their offense is well-oiled and their defense is opportunistic and willing to play the system.
They’re tough to beat, those Colts.
One thing for sure: The Ravens don’t have an answer for them.
And that’s not a low blow…it’s just a fact.