Ravens seeking top seed in conference
Toward the end of their 24-10 win over the
Indianapolis Colts - an outcome that had pretty much been cemented
early in the fourth quarter - the Baltimore Ravens couldn't help but
glance at the scoreboard.
Two of their primary competitors for one of the
top two seeds in the AFC playoffs were in play and having a difficult
time. The Houston Texans trailed the Cincinnati Bengals, and the New England Patriots were just a touchdown ahead of the Washington Redskins.
In the end, however, the Texans roared back to
edge the Bengals in the waning seconds, and the Patriots held onto the
victory, which meant that those two teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and
the Ravens shared identical 10-3 records atop the conference standings.
"It's out there, so you always see it,"
quarterback Joe Flacco said, acknowledging the out-of-town scores
periodically posted on the scoreboards at M&T Bank Stadium. "It
looked like there were a couple close games, couple of shots. Looked
like Houston might go down, and they didn't. Looked like New England
might go down, and they didn't. But I'm not really banking on that
anyway. I'm looking at the rest of the season saying we've got to win
the rest of our games."
Baltimore took out the hapless Colts by striking a
balance between the run and the pass.
Flacco completed 23-of-31 passes for 227 yards and
two touchdowns, and running back Ray Rice carried the ball 26 times for
103 yards and one touchdown. Overall, the offense ran 37 run plays and
31 pass plays.
"I thought it was a good blend, absolutely," coach
John Harbaugh said. "We were moving the ball, getting first downs. In
the red zone early on, it was good. We got the score right away.
Obviously, we were disappointed with the two short-yardage plays. It
would've been good to have gotten those two (first downs). We'll have
to go to work on that."
The Ravens overpowered Indianapolis, which played
like a team that had entered the contest seeking its first win.
The Colts' offense managed just 47 total yards and
four first downs in the first half and accrued less than 200 yards for
the eighth time this season. The defense surrendered 17 unanswered
points in the first half en route to allowing the 12th opponent to
accumulate more than 300 total yards of offense.
There are just three more games left in the
regular season, but Baltimore does not need to rely on Houston, New
England or Pittsburgh losing. If the Ravens win out, they would secure
the top seed and a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs due to various
"Yes, this was big," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It was win No. 10, and with an AFC opponent, we just have
to keep chugging along. They are a good defense. They are having a
rough year, but they still are pretty good. This is the NFL, and we
just didn't want to drop one. We got to win No. 10, like I said, and
we're just going to continue to work and get better. We are not
satisfied at all. We are happy to be at win No. 10, but we want this
thing to peak. We want to go to the highest point we can."
HOT TOPIC: Who
Gets The Top Seed?
Ravens Pass Patriots In AFC Playoff Hunt
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