The second divisional round game is going to be a battle of contrasting styles. The run heavy offense and bruising defense of the Baltimore Ravens go into Indianapolis to due battle with the NFL MVP. The Colts feature a pass heavy quick fire offense and a defense that relies heavily on the pass rush. This should be a dandy. The Ravens are hot right now and the Colts are the number #1 seed in the AFC. The Indianapolis defense is the key here because we know that the offense won’t be denied. If the Colts can get a few turnovers and allow Manning to get opportunities the Colts should come away victorious. Of course, the Ravens are hardnosed and won’t lay down. They will ride the run game and play action pass to keep the Colts defense off balance.
Spread: -6.5 Colts
Again, same spread as the earlier game. This is definitely a tough pick. I like Manning at home, but the Colts have played in many numerous games this year (and still won). If I was laying cash on this game I would take the Ravens. However, I suggest you stay away from this one. Why? Peyton Manning is THE MAN. He could easily light this defense up and hand off to Joseph Addai the rest of the game.
Outlook: I think the Colts will come out throwing as usual so they can get the game into the second half. In the second half they will use Joseph Addai to set up big plays down the field to Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne. The Ravens defense will be game, but they will tire down the stretch because of being on the field too long. The Ravens will try to pound the ball against the Colts small defensive line and keep the ball out of Manning’s hands. That won’t work though because the Colts defense will come to play and rise to the occasion at home (just enough).
Prediction: I think the Ravens will keep this close early. But, a turnover or two will allow Peyton Manning and the Colts the opportunities to create breathing room. At some point I see this as a 13 point game. The Ravens may make a run in the 4th quarter, but the Colts will prevail and move on to the AFC championship.
Final score: Ravens 20 Colts 31