Not a thriller, but a necessary "W"

As Ray Rice was set to begin his postgame press conference following the Ravens' 24-10 win over Indianapolis, he glanced up at the TV screen to his left, which was airing the Texans-Bengals game.

Just then, Houston scored a game-winning touchdown with two seconds left on the clock, a score which gave them a 10-3 record on the season, tying them with the Ravens at the top of the AFC.

"Damn!" Rice shouted, with a wry smile on his face.

The Ravens' star running back was then told to check out the TV screen to his right, which was airing the Patriots-Redskins game.

Just then, New England grabbed a game-clinching interception, securing a win and moving them to 10-3 on the season, as well.

"Oh, Lord!" Rice joked.

The Ravens aren't getting much help of late from the rest of the teams at the top of the AFC.

Baltimore's victory today combined with wins by the Patriots, Texans and Steelers leaves four AFC teams with 10-3 records. Despite the Ravens' dominant effort for much of this season, they're still in a logjam at the top of conference and one loss down the stretch could leave them without a first-round bye, division title or home playoff game.

Cory_Redding-celebrating-sidebar.jpgThat's why efforts like the one today over the Colts are incredibly important for this Ravens team. They're starting to roll off the wins, and are putting themselves in position to grab a top seed. The wins just need to keep coming.

"It's real important. I think if we want to do well in the playoffs and want to have a home game in the playoffs, we have to win out," defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said. "That's what we're trying to do, and now we have to go to San Diego and get a win out there."

"The AFC is very competitive," Rice said. "We're in our driver's seat, but at the same time, other teams are playing good football as well. So you hope a team drops one. We don't say help because we feel like we control our own destiny. As long as we keep winning, we'll be fine."

The Ravens came out today and took care of business. They jumped all over the Colts, scoring 17 points before the game was 20 minutes old and essentially putting the game away by the time the teams went into their respective locker rooms at halftime.

They held Indianapolis to just 91 yards of total offense - 91! - up until the game's final drive, and had fantastic offensive balance, running 37 times and having Joe Flacco put up 31 passes.

They sacked Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky four times, had eight tackles for loss and dominated time of possession, holding the ball for over 36 minutes to the Colts' 24.

The Colts stink, but you need to beat the stinkers on your schedule to earn home playoff games.

"I've played in every playoff game (the last three years)," Rice said. "I've played in the Wild Card, played in the Divisional (round), played in the AFC Championship, and they've all been on the road. And I'd like to tell you - it's tough. Anybody will tell you it's tough.

"Any team that plays us, and know that they have to come to Baltimore, it's tough as well. That's something that we're looking forward to, but we don't have to play (those) other teams right now. Right now, we have to play the San Diego Chargers. That's the next task at hand."

Yup. One game down, three to go.

blog comments powered by Disqus