(The Sports Xchange) – Joe Flacco threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Baltimore Ravens held off the Indianapolis Colts for a 23-16 victory and took over the sixth playoff spot in the AFC on Saturday night.
Colts linebacker Anthony Walker blocked a punt with 2:36 left in the game, giving his team the ball on the Ravens’ 27-yard line. However, on fourth-and-10, Baltimore cornerback Maurice Canady knocked down a pass from Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett to seal the win.
The Ravens (9-6) overtook Buffalo (8-6) in the postseason race, and Baltimore currently has a better record against common opponents, which would be a tiebreaker. The Bills play at New England on Sunday.
Flacco was 29 of 38 for 237 yards.
Baltimore was able to move the ball against the Colts’ 30th-ranked defense, but struggled to find the end zone. Justin Tucker’s third field goal of the game increased their lead to 16-7 to open the second half.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri kept his team in the game with 48- and 38-yard field goals and Indianapolis trailed just 16-13 with 1:34 left in the third quarter.
Two penalties — a hold and pass interference — proved to be costly for the Colts (3-12) on the Ravens’ next drive. Flacco made them pay with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Maxx Williams — his first score of the season. That put Baltimore ahead 23-13
Vinatieri’s 30-yard field goal pulled the Colts to within 23-16 with 4:33 left in the game. That gave Indianapolis just enough life to put itself in position to win the game.
Brissett did a solid job managing the game. He completed 16 of 33 for 215 yards with a touchdown. Brissett did not have a turnover and was sacked once.
Indianapolis receiver T.Y. Hilton created matchup problems for much of the game and finished with six receptions for 100 yards.
The Ravens’ opening drive stalled at the Colts’ 12 after 14 plays, and they settled for a 30-yard field goal by Tucker.
Tony Jefferson blocked an attempted 38-yard field goal by Vinatieri on the ensuing drive.
That led to a 6-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Michael Campanaro and Baltimore led 10-0 with 12:16 left in the half.
The Colts responded when Frank Gore took a short pass from Brissett and ran it in for a 14-yard score.
Another 39-yard kick by Tucker with two minutes left made it 13-7,
Vinatieri missed a 60-yard attempt in the final seconds and the Ravens led 13-7 at the break.