01/06/2013 11:09 AM
5 Reasons Why The Indianapolis Colts Will Win (Gotty)
1. Andrew Luck’s only getting better as each game goes by. Conventional wisdom says a rookie who has started every game this season is no longer a rookie. Weekly, he’s proven that he can put the team on his shoulders and lead them to victory.
2. Youth versus age here. What the Colts lack in playoff experience (most haven’t played a playoff game before), they make up for by having fresher bodies than an aged Baltimore squad that has battled injuries all season long.
3. Even though Baltimore won last year’s meeting between these two, that game didn’t feature Luck or even his predecessor Manning. And if we’re tracking history, Indy won the six games prior to that meeting.
4. Indy has plenty of momentum. They enter the playoffs winners in five of their last six and nine of their last 11. The Ravens? Losers in four of their last five. One time is in full stride while the other is limping along.
5. The “Chuck Pagano Effect.” Okay, I made that up but don’t be so quick to discount it. Not only does 59-year-old coach’s return provide an emotional lift (“hey, if he can beat cancer, we can beat the stinking Ravens.”) but Pagano knows the Ravens. As their former defensive coordinator, he’s familiar with the team’s schemes, the personnel and its DNA. It’s not everything, but even a slight advantage is an advantage in these situations.