Despite tallying two wins, its been a tough couple weeks for Fu Manchu zealot, Joe Flacco. The past two weeks, Flacco has only thrown for a combined 319 yards and one touchdown. Furthermore, he has tallied one flop-of-the game award from Ravens enthusiast Bill Barnwell. To be fair, the passing offense has faced the San Francisco 49ers, who Football Outsiders rank as the eighth-best pass defense, and the Cleveland Browns, who Ray Rice was too busy running all over for Cam Cameron to even bother with the passing game. So if there was ever a time for the Ravens passing offense to shine, its this Sunday against the Colts. The Colts enter the game with the worst pass defense according to Football Outsider’s DVOA and I would expect Cameron to pick on the Colts secondary relentlessly.
While the Ravens passing offense looks to get healthy, the Indianapolis Colts defense is reeling. Not only do the Colts sport a league worst 0-12 record but on Monday, they officially announced that Jerraud Powers and Terence Johnson were placed on injured reserve. Powers was the best corner in the Colts secondary, which is kinda like being the most fit guy at the Golden Corral. Furthermore, on Tuesday night rookie Drake Nevis was also placed on I.R. Much like Powers in the secondary, Nevis was the only defensive tackle who was playing at a serviceable level for the Colts in 2011.
More thoughts on the game and the NFL playoffs after the break.
- Despite being best know for running out of the back of the end zone while playing for the terrible 2008 Detroit Lions, the Colts quarterback was the 4th best QB according to Football Outsiders DVOA last week. While it helped that Orlovsky was playing against the Patriots’ putrid secondary, he still looked far better than most expected.
- Certainly the NFL is a league of random chance but its hard to imagine the Ravens not winning this matchup. They enter the game with a 10.9% chance of winning the Super Bowl while the Colts have a 26.5% chance of going 0-16 according to Football Outsiders.
- There has been some growing sentiment in the Ravens fan base that Jimmy Smith should be starting instead of coming in to play nickel corner. Smith would swap places with starter Cary Williams in such a scenario. While this seems a lot like “playoff-bound team problems” it will be interesting to see how this shakes out in Sunday’s game.
- Completely unrelated to the game, but interesting enough: A Harbaugh brothers rematch in the Super Bowl has a 6.1% chance of occurring according to the Football Outsiders models.