Baltimore is on pace for the number one seed in the AFC, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, coming out victorious in their last three games and sitting atop of the AFC North with a record of 9-3. Indianapolis on the other hand is on pace for the first pick in the NFL draft as they have acquired a record of 0-12 throughout the NFL season. Around this time of the year it’s Indianapolis who is in great position to take the number one seed in the AFC, but with the major injury to Peyton Manning, not only have the Colts been exposed, but they are in a definite rebuilding phase from here on out.
The Indianapolis Peyton Manning’s, sorry, I mean the Indianapolis Colts are on the verge of becoming the second team in NFL history, behind the 2008 Detroit Lions, to finish a season without a win.
Not just in the win column are the Colts struggling, but statistically as well, the Colts offensively rank 26th in rushing yards (99) and passing yards (194.1) per game. Their two top passers of the season, Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins, aren’t even the starters for Sunday’s game against Baltimore, as Dan Orlovsky will be starting his second consecutive game. Last week against the New England Patriots, Orlovsky had a career high 353-yards and 2 touchdowns against a Patriots passing defense that is ranked dead last in the NFL.
If the Colts are going to have any shot at putting a check under the win column, they are going to need Orlovsky to get on the same page with wide receiver Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne very quickly, as they are still one of the scarier wide receiver tandems in the NFL. It is quite clear that the Colts are going to struggle running the ball going against a defense that ranks 2nd against the rush and having a leading rusher in Donald Brown that has less than 400-yards at this point in the season. The Colts are going to have to get creative through the air, and I don’t know if they have enough fire power on the offensive line and enough fire power at the quarterback position to get that done.
Ray Rice is going to be the biggest beneficiary of the winless Indianapolis Colts coming into town this Sunday because they have a rushing defense that ranks 30th in the NFL giving up 144-yards per game. Rice had a career high in rushing yards last week gaining 204-yards on the ground against the Cleveland Browns. Ray Rice has been on a tear as of late averaging about 122-yards per game over his last 3 games and this is good for a Ravens offense that will rely on him heavy come postseason play.
While the Ravens obviously respect the Indianapolis Colts because they are a professional franchise and expect them to put up a fight in the game this Sunday, maybe this would be a good week to get the passing game on track before heading into January.
Joe Flacco has been more of a game manager since coming into the league in 2008 instead of a game changer, and I feel the Ravens coaches want to be able to rely on him in certain games. Flacco has been struggling this season showing a lot of signs of inconsistency, and maybe all he needs is a little success from the league’s worst team to boost his confidence.
Unfortunately, or maybe not unfortunately if you look at the circumstances for the Colts, I believe that they will take one step closer to becoming the prize winners in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes and take a huge loss at home to the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore will be hitting on all cylinders early in the game as I expect Ray Rice to get over 130-yards on the ground and for Joe Flacco to throw at least 3 touchdowns. I’m not quite sure how out of hand this game will get, but I believe it will be along the lines of 31-3.
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