Colts Ready for Playoff Showdown with Ravens
(photo courtesy Indianapolis Colts)
The Colts are trying to pass off Sunday's playoff game against the Ravens as just another game, but it's a tough sell, even for head coach Chuck Pagano.
There are many circumstances surrounding the game. There's the very young Colts making the playoffs with a rookie quarterback. There's the team coming this far with Pagano missing much of the season because he was simply trying to live. There's Pagano returning to the city where he was defensive coordinator until ten months ago. And for older fans in Baltimore, a few Mayflower moving trucks still linger in their memories.
Pagano has done his best to present this week as no different than any other game week, with the exception that the season is over if the Colts lose. He says no one isn't pretending the stakes aren't high, but he called this trip a "business trip" for his team, where they are expected to take care of business.
As if there weren't enough emotion attached to the game, it was multiplied this week when Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis announced that he would retire once the Ravens' season was over. Colts defensive end Cory Redding was Lewis's teammate in Baltimore the last two years and says he was surprised to hear that, but says the Colts won't be distracted by Lewis or the crowd noise in Baltimore. Redding says he looks at this game as a chance to get together with old friends, old friends against which he can't wait to compete.