Ravens add some padding (Baltimore tops Colts 24-9)

The Ravens’ offense has suddenly found its legs - and arms.

Starting with its final possession of the first half, Baltimore has two touchdowns in its last three possessions - the latest being a 20-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Dennis Pitta - to build a 17-6 lead over the Colts in the middle of the third quarter.

The Ravens’ offense is up to 311 yards after Flacco went 3-for-4 for 76 yards and a touchdown on the last drive. Anquan Boldin has been the biggest beneficiary with three catches for 106 yards in this quarter alone.

Overall, Flacco is 9-for-19 for 234 yards and a score. So it hasn’t been his best day altogether, but the deep ball is back and that threat has the Colts inching closer to desperation mode as the seconds tick off the clock.

Update: Adam Vinatieri has now accounted for all of the Colts’ offense after his third field goal of the day cut the Ravens’ lead to 17-9 with 40 seconds to go in the third quarter.

That ended another long drive that failed to produce seven points for Indianapolis - 15 plays for 72 yards over 7:46.

On the drive, Colts wideout Reggie Wayne made his 89th career postseason catch, moving into second place all-time behind Jerry Rice (151).

Update II: The Ravens have upped their lead to 24-9 with plenty of credit due to Boldin, who just leapt over a Colts defensive back to pull down an 18-yard touchdown.

Boldin is up to five catches for 145 yards and a touchdown so far today after that five-play, 70-yard drive. His 145 receiving yards is a Ravens single-game postseason record.

A little more than nine minutes to go. Looking more and more like Baltimore can charter its flight for a re-match with Peyton Manning in Denver.

Update III: Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has left the game with a right ankle injury and his return is questionable.

Ellerbe has nine tackles today.

Update III: The Colts might’ve been the hotter team going into the playoffs, winning nine of their last 11.

But it’s the Ravens that are onto the divisional round of the playoffs after dismantling Indianapolis 24-9 Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens lost four of their last five games, but their defensive improvement late in the regular season carried over into the playoffs.

Baltimore held the Colts to just three field goals, despite permitting 419 yards.

In making their NFL-best fifth straight playoff appearance, the Ravens can add a new distinction, making it five consecutive years with a postseason victory.

Now, Baltimore must travel to Denver for a Saturday meeting with the Broncos, who won 11 in a row to claim the AFC’s top seed and whipped the Ravens 34-17 on Dec. 16.

It’ll be a challenge, but Ray Lewis’ career is still alive after an impressive victory over Indianapolis.

Lewis made a team-high 13 tackles in the win.

Since coach John Harbaugh joined the Ravens in 2008, the team is 6-4 in the playoffs and is now one win away from its third trip to the AFC championship in five seasons.