Colts vs. Ravens, 2013 AFC Wild Card Playoffs: 'unexpectedly remarkable season comes to a close'

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After the 24-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on the road, the folks over at Stampede Blue react to the Colts' playoff loss.

The Indianapolis Colts will likely look back at the 2012 season and remember it as one of the most trying and important seasons in franchise history. Not only was it the first season with future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning at least on the sidelines, the Colts were without their head coach, Chuck Pagano, for a long period of time as he battled leukemia. However, despite it all, the Colts finished with an 11-5 record, led by rookie sensation Andrew Luck and secured a Wild Card berth in the AFC playoffs. On Sunday, the fantastic and inspirational journey that was the 2012 Colts season came to an end when the Ravens defeated them in Baltimore by a score of 24-9, as they were looking to send Ray Lewis, their future Hall of Fame linebacker, out in style in his final home game.

The Colts don't have much to complain about, and not only because their future is bright, but because they played fairly well against a much more experienced team on the road, both on offense and defense.

From Matt Grecco at Stampede Blue:

Overall the Defense played well enough to win the game, forcing two Ray Rice fumbles, and stopping the Ravens on enough drives to give the Offense a chance to win. The Defense did give up quite a few long plays, but that the nature of this Defense. Their aggressiveness helped at other times, so you can't have it both ways. In particular, I thought Vontae Davis played really well (and it wasn't a coincidence Joe Flacco didn't throw at him at all in the 2nd half, and Anquan Boldin had a huge half).

Grecco believes that Luck, the 2012 No. 1 overall pick, played well in his first playoff appearance -- and almost certainly not the last. He also believes that Luck was constantly and consistently let down by his receivers and estimates that more than 10 passes could have been dropped throughout the game.

Luck played pretty well in his first career playoff game, as he was continually let down by his receivers. I'm guessing 10+ drops on his 54 passes, which was the story of the game for the Offense. Vick Ballard had 91 yards on 22 carries, which is a pretty good day, and Reggie Wayne had another fantastic day, catching 9 balls for 114 yards. They just couldn't find the end zone, settling for field goals on 4 possessions (one was right before half), and running 84 offensive plays without a touchdown, which just won't cut it, especially in the Playoffs.

2012 was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Colts, and after what they achieve over the next few years, it may still be considered to be one. Grecco believes that the Colts won so many games in 2012 after being fueled by pure emotions, but they couldn't compete with the talent level of the Ravens.

To get some of these young guys Playoff experience will be instrumental going forward, but they'll need to continue adding talent, which they certainly will over the next couple years, and they keep competing for Playoff spots, and in due time competing for Super Bowls.

Colts fans should rejoice as there is no reason to be upset about the playoff loss. The fact that the Colts were in the playoffs to begin with was nothing short of remarkable and things look like they're going nowhere but up in Indy.

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