I told a buddy of mine this week that the Colts would beat the Ravens on Sunday. And not simply because I'm a Colts fan (although that is a part of it). We all know that certain teams have consistent success against other teams. They have their number.
The Colts have had the Ravens' number in recent years. The Colts have a 10-4 record all-time (including Sunday) against the Ravens, and have never lost to them in Indianapolis. Of course, the Colts extended that streak on Sunday afternoon. And I've got some hardware to hand out again.
MVP - The Colts Defense
The defense played fantastic football on Sunday. Just fantastic. The front seven got pressure on Joe Flacco, they stifled the run, and the secondary continued to play lights out.
First I want to focus on the front seven. Last week I gave Cory Redding my defensive MVP, and he did notch another sack this week. The star in the front seven, though, was Bjoern Werner. Four tackles and two sacks is the best football we've seen from Werner, and it isn't close.
The secondary was great as well. I'll admit I was a bit worried about the prospect of playing against a passing attack featuring speedsters Steve and Torrey Smith, plus a reliable tight end in Owen Daniels. When the two Smith's combine for 72 yards and no scores, it's a good day.
The Colts again held their opponent's leading rusher to under 50 yards.
Yes, there were some lapses. The Ravens touchdown drive, and the quick drive to end the first half were disappointed. But overall the defense finally looked like what we have all been hoping it might look like.
Offensive MVP - The O-Line
On a day when no one played particularly well on offense, I'll give some love to the big guys. And yes, Jonotthan Harrison was less than average (more on that later).
As a whole, though, Luck did not see a whole lot of pressure. When he did, he was easily able to evade the rushers. In the second half the Ravens started to break through a bit, but in the first half no defenders were terribly close to Luck.
Additionally, the running game was pretty good today. Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson combined for 105 yards rushing, with 4.3 yards per carry. I won't complain about that. And that does come in large part to the offensive line.
Improvements can always be made, but the big guys certainly did their job yesterday.
Heart Attack Moment Award - Andrew Luck
You all know what I'm referring to. Luck took off running and took a big hit (which I'm surprised the refs didn't flag) just inside the 10. We're used to seeing Luck take some less than advised shots, but always seem to get up.
This time Luck stayed down for just a bit. It wasn't long, but certainly enough to scare me. I don't know about all of you, but I had flashbacks to 2010 when Peyton Manning stayed down for just a bit in the Week 1 loss to Houston.
It seemed like Luck was fine, though, and showed no ill effects of the hit as the game wore on. Still, I was worried.
Dancing With the Stars Award - Pat McAfee and Sergio Brown
After McAfee killed his punt inside the 5, he gave us his signature golf swing.
When he came over to the sideline, though, McAfee and Brown did...well this. Not sure what they were going for, but if the Special Teams continues to play like this, they can do what they want.
LVP - The Change at Center
I talked about how great the Offensive Line was. However, Harrison was not great. A couple bad snaps and a forgotten snap count are not a good way to make a first impression. Harrison could be the best center the Colts have, but it didn't show today.
I just don't get why the team benched A.Q. Shipley. Do they have something against this guy? They've traded him, after he played well, brought him back, started him, then benched him. I just don't know, and Chuck Pagano doesn't call me when he's making these decisions.
The announcers (who must always be referenced in the LVP award) said that it was probably because of performance, but I disagree.
That's it for this week's awards. Also a special shout-out to Richardson for breaking Terrell Suggs' ankles in the second half. Did anyone else catch that?
Let me know who you thought deserved an award, or maybe didn't deserve an award, this week. Go Colts!