Ray Lewis is going to retire. Chuck Pagano is back. These two guys worked together in Baltimore. the return of Lewis will be an inspiration to the Ravens defense. The triumph of Chuck Pagano has been an inspiration all season for the Baltimore Colts.
I’ll say it right up front. I don’t know how this is going to play out. I like the fact that the Baltimore Ravens are going to be playing this game at home. I like the fact that Ray Lewis will be on the field. Even after 17 years in the league Ray Lewis is probably as good a defensive player as you’re going to see in the NFL. While he’s not the physical beast he once was, and will probably not be 100%, his mere presence boosts the value of everyone around him. My fly in the Ravens ointment is probably more on the offensive side where the turmoil of non-performance has caused Baltimore to install a new Offensive Coordinator and the jury is still out on that move.
Now come the Baltimore Colts, riding high in a giddy wave that’s seen them come from miserable to seemingly magnificent in only one season. Andrew Luck doesn’t have great numbers. He’s not deadly but he’s gutsy and somehow inspiring. He’s made some clutch plays. Combine that with the fcat that he’s on somewhat of a hot streak to end the season, and Pagano’s familiarity with Baltimore’s defense and Luck could shine in more ways than one for the Baltimore Colts.
In the end I’m seeing the Ravens taking this one. While Indianapolis is a great story with a bright future, the Ravens are playing to win now and at home and that’s going to be the difference.