The Baltimore Ravens advanced to the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs thanks to their 24-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the Wildcard round this past weekend. Despite the score, Baltimore was in control of the game for three quarters and they happily sent Ray Lewis out with a victory in his final career home game.
As is the case in any game, there are certain statistics that really show why and how the Ravens won the football game. After my analysis, these are the statistics, not in any specific order, that told the story for the Ravens victory:
- Bryant McKinnie – Starting at LT, with Michael Oher moved to RT, McKinnie allowed just one quarterback hurry in 24 pass plays.
- Joe Flacco a) – If you saw that Flacco threw for 282 yards, you probably did not think he only completed 12 passes, the 23.5 yards per completion was a huge factor in this football game.
- Joe Flacco b) – Not only did he have a robust average yards per completion statistic, but his zero interceptions were another key component in the game, especially with Ray Rice fumbling twice.
- Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe – The Ravens' inside linebackers combined for 22 tackles on Sunday.
- Paul Kruger – Ever since Terrell Suggs returned from injury, Kruger has been a sack machine and his 2.5 sacks on Sunday greatly influenced the outcome.
- Anquan Boldin – Ok, no surprise on this one, Boldin's 145 receiving yards and touchdown in the second half is one of the greatest offensive performances in one half of football in Ravens history.
- Bernard Pierce – The compliment to Rice had 103 yards on 13 carries, good for just under eight yards a carry.
- Ravens return yards – Baltimore (Jacoby Jones) had 117 punt/kickoff return yards as opposed to ZERO for the Indianapolis Colts.
- Ravens offense – Baltimore's offense averaged a robust 7.9 yards per play as opposed to Indianapolis's 4.8 yards per play.
- Ravens offense and defense – Baltimore scored three touchdowns against the Colts who scored zero, so that may be an obvious statistic that influenced the game, but Baltimore's ability to hold Indianapolis to field goals rather than touchdowns is the story.
Some of these statistics were more influential than others, but all played a major role in the outcome of the game for Baltimore. The Ravens' ability to replicate some of these on Saturday against the Denver Broncos will be a huge factor as well, but others are practically unmatchable. Many experts are writing off the Ravens in the Divisional Round and Baltimore is currently listed as a 9.5 point underdog in the game, but as we have all learned in the world of sports, "that's why they play the games."
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