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Colts-Ravens Playoff Predictions

Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE

Ray Lewis could be entering into retirement sooner than most of us might expect.

In Sunday’s Wild Card playoff, the Indianapolis Colts will travel to the Baltimore Ravens in a AFC-playoff showdown.

For starters, it’s worth noting that the Ravens are 6.5-point favorites in the matchup with the over/under currently set at 47 as of this publication.

First, the Ravens have the slight advantage. They have a better record, they play at home and they have one of the best defenses in the league. But we might be missing something.

The Colts are arguably the hottest team in the NFL, winners of nine of their last 11. In the last six weeks of the season, they leapfrogged two AFC teams to edge their way into the playoffs. Meanwhile, rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has had a superb season, tallying 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns. And though he’s only a rookie, it seems he has the poise of a 10-year veteran who can pick apart an elite defense with little problems. And the connection he has with 13-year-veteran Reggie Wayne has been monstrously productive this season. The two have connected on 106 completions tallying 1,335 yards.

The Ravens expect linebacker Ray Lewis to play in Sunday’s contest, who’s been the inspirational linchpin behind the team’s success over the last 10 seasons. But chances are, he won’t be an impact player on the field with little on-field practice this week. Still, Baltimore has a stealthy defense that racks up tackles-for-a-loss in bunches and ranks in the top-5 in takeaways this season.

The biggest wild card remains in quarterback Joe Flacco. The 27-year-old play-caller hasn’t faired well in the second half of the season. Despite posting a 94.4 QBR against the New York Giants on Dec. 23, he hasn’t notched above a 55 mark since Week 10 against the Oakland Raiders. Consequently, he’s been tabbed as one of the streakiest players in the NFL.

The Colts will definitely face an uphill battle on the road and playing against a rigid defense won’t help. But Luck has proven time-and-time-again that he can pull off great performances in the clutch. Ultimately, it will be Indianapolis venturing onto the divisional playoff round.

Prediction: Colts 28, Ravens 27

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