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Recap Week Fourteen: Colts 44-Ravens 21

Peyton Manning continues his late season dominance.
AP Photo: Gail Burton
Before I begin my full body slam of the Ravens franchise, I'd like to compliment Rexx over at Baltimore Beatdown for a very spirited, insightful, and fun exchange during the week. Just so you know, Rexx was not the original writer over at BB, but he has taken over the blog and the transition has been seamless. Rexx is also a die hard Baltimore fan, and BB needs a blogger like that. Rexx is good people, and a great addition to SB Nation.

Now, that said, the Baltimore Ravens are a gutless, classless organization; and many of their fans are just pathetic losers who need to get a friggin' life. The most recent Indianapolis Colts beatdown of the Baltimore Ravens featured Peyton Manning carving up their secondary, Kyle Boller running for his life, and Gary Brackett doing a hula dance. When the score was 30-0, I half expected Ravens players to start blaming officials for the extent of the beatdown:

Let me be the first to say it: I cannot believe the referees last night!

The gall! The disrespect! The complete lack of decency!

If these striped monsters had any heart, they would've ended that fiasco in the first quarter. But noooo, these officials - surely out for blood after the Ravens criticized their performance one week earlier - showed no mercy.

The result was a special brand of waterboarding torture that had nothing to do with the night's steady rainfall. Final score: Colts 44, Ravens 20, Ravens' Losing Streak 7.

Let's be clear about something, the Indianapolis Colts have always respected the Baltimore Ravens. Peyton Manning always gushes about Ray Lewis, even though Ray Lewis is one of the most over-rated players in the NFL right now (and Peyton owns him). Dungy always compliments Brian Billick, even though Billick is the poster boy for head coaching idiocy.

Yet, the Ravens franchise simply refuses to call the Colts the Indianapolis Colts on the scorebaord at M & T Bank Stadium. When the play clock hit zero, the scoreboard read Indy 44-Ravens 21. It's just the kind of tasteless, classless, silly ass gesture you'd expect from a whiny organization like Baltimore. NBC also likes to harp on the Colts leaving Baltimore in 1984, an event absolutely no one with any real life cares about anymore. It was almost 25 years ago. Robert Irsay is long dead, a result of a debilitating and painful stroke years ago. It's ancient history, long forgotten by most rationally sane people.

Let. It. Go. Baltimore.

Here's the recap:

  • With Tony Ugoh back at LT and a healthy Gonzo at WR, Peyton Manning has thrown for 8 TDs and 1 INT in two weeks. Manning looks comfortable, in control, and is actually being afforded time to deliver the friggin' football. The two deep TDs to Gonzo were gems.
  • Dwight Freeney goes down, and what happens? The Colts sack numbers go up. Now, I don't think that's a knock on Freeney. I think it's because teams have gotten cocky. Oh, Freeney is out? Let's throw more! Big mistake. The Colts pass rush has really stepped up its game in Freeney's absence, Robert Mathis and Keyunta Dawson in particular. I nearly fainted when Mathis hurt his leg last night. He walked off and played later. Whew!
  • Bob Sanders better win DPOY. He was all over the field last night, and his presence all season has elevated this defense to elite level. If Freeney were playing, the Colts would be the best defense in football; no debate, no argument, no question. Without Freeney, they are still one of the best. Baltimore's running game was shut down and Kyle Boller ran for his life. Sanders made big hit after big hit. Some of his hits looked so hard I gritted my teeth.
  • One minute, the special teams look great blocking a punt for a safety. The next, they are surrendering their seventh kick return for a TD this season. We all know Russ Purnell is garbage, and I think Dungy is finally starting to see it himself. Expect to see lots of starters playing special teams in the playoffs. And if Russ Purnell is not fired at some point, I really have to question Dungy's mental state. It is literally THAT obvious Purnell sucks.

Another thing this game showed is the Jacksonville game was a fluke for this defense. Last year, Willis McGahee is running up and down the field on this defense (like he did against NE last week). This year, McGahee was stuffed, Boller bashed, and even without Dwight Freeney the Baltimore o-line couldn't stop the Indianapolis Colts pass rush.

11-2, getting healthy, and not yet hitting their stride: This Indianapolis Colts team is beginning to look deadly. Saw an interesting stat last night: In the game the Colts had 4 starting players from last year's defense starting (Sanders, Bethea, Brackett, and Mathis). Amazing. This has been Tony Dungy's best year coaching, and it's a damn shame he will get next to zero consideration for COTY. Last night, Manning set two NFL records, throwing for over 25 TDs for ten straight years and 3,000 yards for the nine straight years. As a franchise, the Colts will set an NFL if they win one more game. If they win more, that's five straight years of 12 wins or more. That's a tribue to the players, Tony Dungy, Bill Polian, and Mr. Jim Irsay (one of the best owners in sports).

Go Indianapolis Colts!