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Ravens Knock Colts Out of Playoffs

It was an emotional day for everyone at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday and at the end of it, only one team could move on to the divisional round of the playoffs. That team was the home squad–the Baltimore Ravens–which took care of business against the fifth seeded Indianapolis Colts 24-9.

Lewis fired up the home crowd one last time

After announcing his retirement at the conclusion of this season earlier this week, Ray Lewis and everyone else in the building knew Sunday could have been the last time he put on a Ravens uniform. The win secured at least one more game for the Ravens legend and sure-fire hall-of-famer, but his patented dance–that he performed with extra vigor and emotion–during the introductions to the game will surely be his last, as the Ravens will have to spend the rest of their 2013 playoff journey on the road starting with No. 1 seed Denver next week.

Lewis, who was playing in his first game since tearing his right triceps against in a game against Dallas on Oct. 14, looked a bit rusty at times, dropping an easy interception off a tipped Andrew Luck pass at one point. However, at the end of the day, he looked like the Ray Lewis of old, leading the team with 13 tackles.

“My only focus was to come in and get my team a win. Nothing else was planned,” the 37-year-old Lewis said via ESPN.com. “It’s one of those things, when you recap it all and try to say what is one of your greatest moments.

“I knew how it started but I never knew how it would end here in Baltimore. To go the way it did today, I wouldn’t change nothing.”

The Colts, which had an incredible turnaround season under coach Chuck Pagano, wouldn’t chance much either, except for the result of the last game. Pagano’s valiant battle with leukemia this year inspired the Colts’ fans and organization all season long and his return the sidelines added even more emotion to Sunday’s proceedings. Pagano has reflected upon his experience this year numerous times with the media, but took time to look ahead to the future after the loss.

“The foundation is set, and we said we were going to build one on rock and not on sand,” Pagano said. “You weather storms like this and you learn from times like this.”

The Colts had incredible season was also inspired by its rookie leader Andrew Luck, who had a record-setting debut season, but who admitted to some crucial mistakes during Sunday’s game that he hopes to learn from in the future.

“It’s great making the playoffs, but you can’t make mistakes and expect to beat a playoff team like we did,” said Luck. “We’ll have to look back at those and hopefully fix them.”

Stout defense and big offense won the day for Baltimore

The Ravens were able to apply plenty of pressure on Luck when he dropped back and were successful on the other side of the ball as well. Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin hooked up on several deep bombs, which set up Ravens scores. Boldin ended the day with 145 yards receiving and Flacco racked up 282 yards on just 12 completions.

Now the Ravens just hope they can do it again next week in Denver against the league’s hottest team and winners of 11 in a row.

“I wanted Denver,” Boldin said, “because they beat us. “We’ll make it different.”

We will see about that come next week.


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