Colts Cruise: Indy Shuts Down Baltimore, 20-3

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Stampede Blue: Path To The Super Bowl

Stampede Blue is tempting the NFL Playoff Gods by going ahead and predicting the Colts path to the Super Bowl. One game at a time? Meh. If you’re confident you’re going to win, go ahead and say it. Don’t let being wrong in previous years deter you, fortune favors the bold. So will the Colts win this week? And who will they face next week?

The Colts play the Ravens this weekend, and just as they did in the 2006 playoffs, the Colts will defeat them. Our beloved blue ponies will then move on to the AFC Championship Game where they will face… the Jets.

Yes, I said it: The Jets.

Since the Chargers have destroyed my predictions the last two years, I figured I’d give them another opportunity to make me look even more foolish.

Finishing it out, they see the Colts over the Cardinals in the Super Bowl.

Video: Some Colt love, from their Super Bowl victory.

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Baltimore Beatdown: Manning Vs. Lewis

Sure the Baltimore Ravens are playing the Indianapolis Colts in one of this weekend’s playoff games, but Baltimore Beatdown suggests watching the game within the game. Peyton Manning is the unquestioned leader of the Colts, Ray Lewis is the unquestioned leader of the Ravens. One’s on offense, the other on defense. Which means we get to watch two future Hall-of-Famers battle it out on the gridiron. No matter how it plays out, you can expect the best from two of the best ever.

Their abilities to watch game tape and be prepared are unparalleled in the game today. Watching their “game within the game” as they square off with each other is as enjoyable and fascinating as the game itself. If you’ve watched the games for years or even if you’ve never seem the two of them on the field at the same time, concentrate on what goes on before the snap as much as what happens once the ball is hiked. You’ll find a new found respect for both guys, as well as additional understanding of what an intense game this is.

Video: Since this post came from a Ravens perspective, here’s a little treat for Baltimore fans.

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Stampede Blue: 2009 Colts Not The 2005 Colts

While the Colts have had a lot of success against the Ravens, it’s other ghosts of playoffs past that have their fans worried. Back in 2005, the Colts were similarly undefeated late in the season, dropped a few games towards the end, and after the bye got upset by the #6-seed Steelers in a crazy playoff game. But this 2009 Colts team is not the same, as Stampede Blue points out after receiving a tip in a Raheem Brock tweet that basically says the team got rid of bad players from that 2005 defense.

Since 2005, gone are Colts starters Mike Doss, Nick Harper, Corey Simon, Cato June, David Thornton, Jason David, and Montae Reagor. The current starters for these players respective positions are Antoine Bethea, Antonio Johnson, Clint Session, Philip Wheeler, Jerraud Powers, and Daniel Muir. Like in 2005, the 2009 Colts clinched their playoff seed early and rested starters down the stretch. Unlike 2005, the horrible distraction of James Dungy’s suicide is not hovering over the 2009 team, though it is understandable is players like Pierre Garcon have their minds on family and friends in Haiti.

Not only are there similarities in Colts teams, but the guys at Stampede Blue find similarities between the 2005 Steelers and the 2009 Ravens.

In addition, this 2009 Ravens team bare a scary resemblance to the 2005 Steelers team that entered the the playoffs as the #6 seed and defeated the #1 seeded Colts at the RCA Dome in a game that featured a famous Jerome Bettis fumble, a Ben Roethlisberger tackle, and a Mike Vanderjagt missed field goal. To this day, that playoff loss stings more than any other even though the opponent was obviously worthy enough to beat the Colts that year (the 2005 Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl).

Video: Highlights from the Colts-Steelers playoff game back in 2005.

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Baltimore Beatdown: Revenge Is Thy Master

The Baltimore Ravens fanbase is tired of losing to the Colts. They want revenge for a string of failures against the Peyton Mannings, including some playoff losses. Sure, advancing in the playoffs can be a strong motivating factor, but admit it, beating a team that has owned you recently can put a giddy-up in your step. The Ravens will take all the push they can get.

From Baltimore Beatdown:

The playoff game in 2006 ended in a 15-6 loss to the Colts and included a goal line interception thrown by the late Steve McNair. The 2007 and 2008 games were blowouts by scores of 44-20 and 31-3, respectively. Of course, most fans are still regurgitating the 17-15 loss in November of this year’s regular season.

So now, getting the same sort of revenge that we took on the New England Patriots is just what this fairy tale season needs to continue.

Video: Manning after that 15-6 win in the playoffs, talking about the game and Ravens fans giving him the middle finger.

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