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Week 6 Preview: Baltimore at Indianapolis

Demetrius Williams vs the Steelers
The Baltimore Ravens enter into Indianapolis eager to get back on track after consecutive three point losses and the Colts hope to build on their late game heroics over the Texans last week. Both teams sit at 2-2 and it certainly isn’t time to panic but you need to start looking ahead and above you in the standings and you don’t want any more distance if you can help it.

The Colts haven’t been their usual explosive selves. Peyton Manning’s knee injury, a young makeshift line and the loss of hard hitting Bob Sanders had them dropping games to the Bears and Jags. Even in their victories they have had to come from behind and use the passing game to get things done. Most surprising has been the absence of the running game as they only average 67 yards a game. They also have yet gain a win in the new Lucas Oil stadium and hope to not have the trend continue.

The Ravens meet the city’s previous incarnation for the fifth straight time and each time the result was the same – a Colts victory. The defense which has been superb so far this season will need to continue to frustrate Peyton Manning and find ways to force him into some bad throws, never an easy task. The key seems to again lean on the ground game as a heavy dose of Le’Ron McClain, Willis McGahee and Ray Rice could help keep the pressure off Joe Flacco.

This game is a study in contrasts as the Colts will leave the game in the capable hands of Peyton Manning, who has had success against the defense in all of their previous meetings. They will use speed and finesse to gain the edge, while the Baltimore will need physical play from both sides of the ball to control the clock and get turnovers.

As I see it, the Ravens desperately need a victory. They have proven so far that the defense is back up the snuff and will always keep Baltimore in games. The real question, as always, is will the offense score enough points? Joe Flacco, given the nod as the starter for the rest of the year must make good decisions and use all of his receivers. Todd Heap must be a part of the offensive game plan and not just used as a blocker. It will be important to control the clock and to score touchdown and not field goals when the opportunity presents itself. This game reminds me way too much of an earlier game when the Vikings played the Colts in Week two. If the Vikings had even average play from the QB, they win in a rout. The coaching staff still doesn’t have enough faith in Flacco to mix it up enough and if you give Manning the ball with time he can still kill you.

Colts 21 Ravens 13

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