Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - The Baltimore Ravens never beat the Indianapolis Colts in the postseason with Peyton Manning at quarterback. They had an easier time in their first encounter with his heir apparent, however.
And now they'll get another chance to obtain that elusive victory over Manning after ending the Indianapolis Colts' storybook season with a 24-9 triumph in Sunday's AFC Wild Card Playoffs.
Inspired by the return of emotional team leader Ray Lewis, the Ravens defense held the upstart Colts to three Adam Vinatieri field goals and spoiled the playoff debut of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the return of Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano to Baltimore, where he spent four years as an assistant under John Harbaugh before taking over the Colts last January.
Playing for the first time since mid-October due to a torn triceps and just days after announcing his retirement at season's end, Lewis was credited with 13 tackles in spearheading Baltimore's effort. Outside linebacker Paul Kruger came up with a big game as well, registering 2 1/2 of the Ravens' three sacks of Luck and causing one of three takeaways with a forced fumble.
Joe Flacco added a pair of touchdown passes to the win while throwing for 282 yards and making good on 12-of-23 attempts, while Anquan Boldin amassed 145 yards and a score on five catches -- all of which came in the second half.
The Ravens now advance to a meeting with Manning's top-seeded Denver Broncos in next Saturday's Divisional Round.
Luck put up 288 yards in his first-ever playoff appearance, but completed just 28-of-54 throws and was intercepted once.
Reggie Wayne finished with 114 yards on nine catches for the Colts, who reached the postseason just one year removed from a dreadful 2-14 campaign, while Vick Ballard rushed for 91 yards on 22 carries.
The Sports Network