NFL playoffs 2013: Colts can't beat Ravens if Andrew Luck turns it over

Larry French

Or the Colts are in trouble. Luck has been much better at home this season but the Colts are on the road in Baltimore for the AFC Wild Card round of the playoffs. SB Nation's Stampede Blue and Baltimore Beatdown discussed Sunday's Colts-Ravens game.

Day two of the 2013 NFL playoffs are here. The AFC Wild Card round will feature the 10-win Ravens hosting the 11-win Colts. Indy is the Wild Card team, finishing behind the Texans in the AFC South while the Ravens won the AFC North.

SB Nation's Stampede Blue and Baltimore Beatdown discussed Sunday's game, how their teams got here and how Sunday's game will be won.


More: Complete NFL playoff schedule


The Colts got here thanks to the rookie class.

Stampede Blue: "The play of the 2012 rookie class is how the Colts got to the postseason. Indianapolis rookies had the second most snaps of any team in the league with 4, 131. Most of those snaps were on the offensive side of the ball, at the skill positions. Andrew Luck set NFL and franchise records for passing yards, attempts, 300 yard games, and tied an NFL record with seven game-winning drives. T.Y. Hilton led all rookie wideouts in the NFL with 7 TDs, and Dwayne Allen led all rookie tight ends in catches. Tremendous production from a rookie class."

The Ravens got here by starting hot.

Baltimore Beatdown: "The Baltimore Ravens got off to a quick start, looking solid on offense for perhaps the first time in team history. A 9-2 start quickly deteriorated into a three-game losing streak but in this 2012 season of parity, the rest of the league and specifically the AFC North allowed the Ravens to back into the playoffs, despite losing four of their last five games. However, once the postseason begins, anything can happen, including the Ravens offense returning to early-season form. The defense is healthier than they have been all season."

This game will be decided by turnovers.

Stampede Blue: "The game will come down to turnovers, as almost all playoff games do. The Colts did not play particularly well on the road in 2012. Four of their five loses were in someone else's stadium, and 13 of Andrew Luck's 18 interceptions came on the road. However, in the last three games of the regular season, Luck did not throw a pick. When all is said and done, it seems unrealistic to expect a rookie quarterback, with four other rookies starting with him on offense, to go into Baltimore and no turn the football over. This means that the Colts defense, in particular their secondary, must get the ball back by forcing Joe Flacco into turnovers."

Baltimore Beatdown: "This game all comes down to the Andrew Luck vs. the Ravens defense. Baltimore's offense will get their yards and points against an average at best Indy defense. However, it's the Ravens hopes that the "road" version of Luck is what it's been for a lot of the season, a much lesser player than the "home" version. If Baltimore can put pressure on him and force him out of his comfort zone, then they can limit the damage that Reggie Wayne and others can do if he has time to stand there and wait for his receivers to get open."

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