The Baltimore Ravens’ current three-game win streak has kept them in the mix for the AFC’s best conference record. Seeing as who their opponent is for this week, they’ll all but remain in good position after Sunday.
The Ravens will try to extend their recent success and delight Baltimore fans by dropping Baltimore’s former team, the Colts to 0-13.
Baltimore (9-3) has needed its current win streak not only to keep pace, and stay atop the AFC North with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but more importantly to keep pace with the New England Patriots and Houston Texans, who are also 9-3. Luckily, for the Ravens, they own the tiebreaker over both the Steelers and Texans.
Last week, the Ravens rushed a team-record 55 times for 290 yards in the team’s 24-10 victory at Cleveland. Ray Rice was front and center, rushing for a career-high 204 yards on a season high 29 carries.
This week, Baltimore plays host to the 0-12 Colts. The last time the Ravens faced a winless team this late in the season was in 2007, losing to the Miami Dolphins 22-16.
However, that was a completely different team, as the Ravens struggled, limping to a 5-11 finish.
Meanwhile, the Colts showed some flashes in their 31-24 defeat to the New England Patriots last week. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky made his first start for the Colts, throwing for a career-high 353 yards, 240 of which came in the fourth quarter alone, along with two touchdowns to Pierre Garcon.
It may be a different story though this week, with Baltimore among the NFL leaders in multitude of defensive categories. The Ravens rank top five in: points allowed (16.0), yards (287.3), passing yards (198.6) and rushing yards allowed per game (88.8).
On the flip side, the Patriots rank dead last in the NFL in average yards, yielding a dismal 412.1 yards, while allowing 310 of those 412.1 yards through the air.
Orlovsky will need all the help he can get if Colts look to avoid to falling to 0-13 for the first time since 1986, the franchise’s third season in Indianapolis, after bolting from Baltimore in March of 1984.
Ravens fans would savor the chance to watch that dubious feet and see their team snap an eight-game losing streak to the Colts, which include two playoff losses.
Peyton Manning’s absence from the lineup following neck surgery has clearly played the biggest factor in the demise of the Colts in 2011. However, pro bowl tight end Dallas Clark, who has missed the past three games with an ailing left leg injury, expects to play Sunday.
Also, middle linebacker Pat Angerer, tied for second in the NFL with 112 tackles, is listed as questionable after suffering a right knee injury against New England.
For the Ravens, All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who has missed the team’s past three games is listed as questionable, though it is likely he will not play again this Sunday.
Cornerback Chris Carr’s status is unknown at this point because of an ailing back. On the offensive line, Matt Birk (shoulder) and Ben Gruubs (toe) are among the notable key Ravens battling injuries.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker will have the call for CBS.