In a football season dotted with some depressing stories, the Indianapolis Colts have stood out as a beacon of positivity. From the saga of Chuckstrong to rookie phenom Andrew Luck leading a club that won only two games last season to a playoff berth, the Colts have been the feel-good story of the year by far.
That almost certainly makes Indianapolis the sentimental pick in their AFC wild-card contest against the Baltimore Ravens, but the general attitude regarding this tilt is that Baltimore will end this Colts storyline on a less-than-stellar note.
After all, the Ravens have won 15 of their last 17 home games, and in their last meaningful contest, they dominated the New York Giants 33-14 on their way to securing the AFC North Division title. By contrast, the Colts are 4-4 (they were 7-1 at home) on the road and two of those wins came against Jacksonville and Kansas City clubs that managed only four combined victories this year.
Those factors are a big part of why the Ravens opened as touchdown favorites in this contest from the moment it was confirmed. But a closer look at some of the game tape and metrics indicates four areas that could very well combine to allow the Colts to keep this memorable season going for at least one more week.
Let's take a look.