INDIANAPOLIS –The Colts and Ravens are regular playoff participants.
The Colts have made the playoffs 12 times in the last 14 years, while Baltimore has qualified 10 times. The last time the teams missed the playoffs together was in 1998.
As the teams battle on Sunday in M&T Bank Stadium, Colts.com revisits the two playoff matches between the clubs – the 2007 and 2010 Divisional Playoffs.
Colts 15, Ravens 6 – January 13, 2007 –One week after shutting down All-Pro running back Larry Johnson in a 23-8 Wild Card victory over Kansas City, the Colts defense was out to prove that performance was no fluke.
Indianapolis had finished off the regular season by losing three of its last four games. In that stretch was a 44-17 setback at Jacksonville where the Jaguars amassed 375 rushing yards.
After beating the Chiefs, the Colts defense was up to the challenge again against the second-seeded Ravens. The unit kept the Ravens out of the end zone, sending Indianapolis home 15-6 winners and soon-to-be hosts for the AFC Championship game.
Indianapolis forced a three-and-out on the first possession of the game, and the offense took advantage of good field position at its 46. Indianapolis moved to the Baltimore five, where two Joseph Addai rushes fizzled. Adam Vinatieri booted a 23-yard field goal to give the Colts an early 3-0 lead.
The Colts defense wasted no time setting up the offense with more great field position.
Cornerback Nick Harper forced a Todd Heap fumble after a reception, and linebacker Gary Brackett pounced on the loose ball at the Ravens' 31-yard line.
Defense was the rule of the day, and Baltimore did not allow the Colts to penetrate much deeper. Vinatieri connected on a 42-yard field goal four plays after the takeaway for a 6-0 lead. The veteran kicker's right leg would carry the scoring for the Colts on the day.
After a punt return to the Colts' 42, the Ravens got on the board on the first play of the second quarter when kicker Matt Stover connected on a 40-yard field goal.
Leading 6-3 lead in the second quarter, the Colts produced another critical turnover.
The Ravens drove to the Colts' three-yard line on their ensuing possession. Facing a third-and-goal, quarterback Steve McNair was intercepted by rookie safety Antoine Bethea at the one-yard line.
Bethea and linebacker Cato June converged on Heap and the ball, colliding viciously, but Bethea held on for possession.
Indianapolis took advantage with a 13-play, 65-yard drive that started at its one-yard line. The Colts converted two third downs in their own territory on Peyton Manning completions to Marvin Harrison. A failed third-down attempt at the Baltimore 34 put Vinatieri in action again for a 51-yard attempt. His kick hit the crossbar and bounced through for a 9-3 advantage with 3:15 left in the half.
With a six-point halftime lead, the Colts took the ball to start the second half and marched for another Vinatieri field goal, this one from 48 yards out four minutes into the period.
After trading punts, an Indianapolis takeaway was wiped out by a penalty and Baltimore drove from its five to the Colts' 33, where Stover connected on a 51-yard field goal to cut the lead to 12-6 with 13:03 remaining.
Ed Reed intercepted Manning three plays after the field goal, but Harper intercepted McNair at the Colts' 23 to end a scoring threat with 10:18 left.
The defensive battle continued as both teams forced punts before the Colts took possession on their 36 with 7:39 to play.
Five Dominic Rhodes rushes gained 19 yards and the Colts took their final timeout with 3:57 to go and facing a third-and-five at the Baltimore 45.
Manning then lasered a pass to Dallas Clark in tight coverage. Clark completed the 14-yard play and Indianapolis retained possession. Rhodes carried three more times to the two-minute warning. Baltimore used its last timeout between two additional Rhodes carries, then Manning took a knee at the Ravens' 16 with 1:07 to go.
The final seconds ticked down as the Colts lined up for another field goal, and Vinatieri was true from 35 yards out with 23 seconds left. The Colts had carved out a pressure-packed 13-play drive that took up 7:16 before Vinatieri's boot provided the final 15-6 margin.
Indianapolis held the Ravens to just two-of-11 on third downs and forced four turnovers.
With the win on Saturday, the Colts watched on Sunday as New England beat top-seeded San Diego, thus sending the AFC Championship to Indianapolis. The Colts prevailed, 38-34, over New England, moving to Super Bowl XLI. A 29-17 victory over Chicago handed the Colts their first World Championship in 36 years.
Colts 20, Ravens 3 – January 16, 2010 –Three years later, the Colts and Ravens once again found themselves across from each other in the AFC Divisional round.
Baltimore arrived in Indianapolis after winning in New England, 33-14, while the Colts were the AFC's top seed with a 14-2 record.
Early on, the game had a very similar feel to the previous meeting.
With Vinatieri sidelined with an injury, kicker Matt Stover now found himself in a Colts uniform, and his 44-yard field goal capped off a 10-play opening drive for Indianapolis.
Baltimore answered with kicker Billy Cundiff hitting a 25-yarder on the following drive. The Ravens moved from their seven to the Colts' six on the 15-play drive. The Ravens converted third downs at the Colts' 45 and 10, but Indianapolis stiffened down deep to limit Baltimore.
The teams traded punts on the game's next four possessions before the Colts started a drive at their 25 with 10:00 left before the half.
Manning led the Colts on a 14-play drive that featured a fourth-down conversion at the Baltimore 35. Manning hit eight-of-nine passes for 72 yards on the drive. He found six different receivers on the possession, the final one being Austin Collie for 10 yards and the score with 2:00 left in the half.
After a quick three-and-out by Baltimore, the Colts took over at their own 36 with 1:26 left on the clock and with two timeouts remaining.
Manning hit passes to Donald Brown, Dallas Clark and Pierre Garcon to get the Colts to the Ravens' 40, where Indianapolis took a timeout.
Brown rushed for 13 yards, then the Ravens were flagged for pass interference. Manning misfired from the Ravens 14 with 28 seconds left, then Ray Lewis roughed Manning on the ensuing play and Indianapolis was at the Baltimore seven with 17 seconds left.
Hitting Clark to the three, Manning called the Colts' last timeout with 11 seconds left. An incompletion to Wayne left seven seconds remaining. Gambling, the Colts went for a quick-hitting play.
Manning found Wayne shy of the goal-line and he ducked in just prior to a hit. Three seconds remained, and the Colts had their second touchdown in a short, critical stretch. The 17-3 lead was big.
Manning was 21-of-29 in the half for 180 yards. Indianapolis led in net yards, 218-91, while holding possession for 18:15.
In the third quarter, the teams traded punts before Baltimore lost possession on downs at the Indianapolis 45 with 6:01 to go.
Manning was intercepted by Ed Reed at the Ravens 35 seconds later, but Garcon forced a fumble after a 38-yard return. Clark recovered the fumble and returned it four yards on a zany play.
The Colts had the ball at their 28. Five plays later, a Reed interception and a 54-yard return to the Indianapolis 11 was negated by a pass interference call. The Colts kept possession and scored on a 33-yard Stover field goal 1:34 into the final quarter. The drive was 14 plays and 56 yards, and the damage was done as the Colts led, 20-3.
Clint Session recovered a Ray Rice fumble at the Colts 20 two minutes later. Antoine Bethea picked off Joe Flacco at the Colts' two with 4:53 to go, and rookie Jerraud Powers pirated another pass at the Indianapolis 14 with 1:07 left as the Colts advanced to the title game again.
Indianapolis forced four turnovers, while Manning was 30-of-44 for 246 yards and two scores.