Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 NFL Playoff Preview: Divisional Round – Ravens at Colts

The 2010 NFL Playoffs continue this weekend with action Saturday and Sunday. After a 2-2 performance in predicting last weekend’s results, I’ll gaze into my crystal ball once again and try to prognosticate the outcome of each game, while also providing you with an in-depth preview and broadcast information. Following the early Cardinals-Saints game on FOX, CBS takes over with the Ravens and Colts, preceded by pregame coverage in studio.

Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, 8:15pm ET, CBS
Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf in the booth.

The Baltimore Ravens have been on a hot run thanks to the legs of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. Their defense isn’t too shabby either and Joe Flacco doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. If there is one way to beat the Colts, it is by trying to outscore them because we’ve seen over the years that Peyton Manning is like a great prosecutor… no defense can stop him.

Lame puns aside, this will be an interesting matchup between teams with contrasting styles. The Ravens are an old-school style squad, relying on defense and the rushing attack to win. The Colts, on the other hand, are a pass-first offense with a defense that isn’t great but can hold its own. While Baltimore has a young quarterback who is very good at managing the game, the Colts feature four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

I would expect Ray Rice to run all over the place on Indy’s defense. But the game will likely be in the hands of Joe Flacco if the Ravens are trying to come from behind. The unibrowed one certainly has the experience but I think it will come down to who will perform better in the clutch. That almost assuredly will be Peyton Manning.

Prediction: Colts 31, Ravens 21

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