5 Things To Watch vs. Colts


Baltimore will have perhaps its toughest challenge yet with a Week 5 road game in Indianapolis.

The Ravens are riding a three-game winning streak. The Colts have won two straight games by a combined 51 points.

The Colts have the top-ranked offense in the league. The Ravens have allowed the second-fewest points per game in the NFL.

It should be a good one. Here are five things to watch:

1. Ravens secondary vs. big play
The key for Baltimore's defense will be to limit the big play – something it's had trouble doing so far this season. The Colts have a lot of big-play threats with future Hall of Fame receiver Reggie Wayne and young speedster T.Y. Hilton. Quarterback Andrew Luck leads the league with 326 passing yards per game. The Ravens could get back cornerback Lardarius Webb. No matter who is in, they've got to keep deep containment.

2. Baltimore's ground game
The easiest way to move the ball on the road, especially in a very loud environment, is on the ground. The Ravens are eighth in the NFL in rushing yards per game (134.5), while the Colts defense is 11th in the league in defending the run, giving up an average of 104.8 yards per game. The Colts are going to be without former Ravens defensive tackle Arthur Jones, and may be susceptible on the ground. Baltimore may welcome Bernard Pierce back into the running back rotation as well.

3. Keeping Joe upright
A big reason for the Ravens' three-game winning streak is the offensive line not yielding a sack in any of those matchups. The unit still performed quite well with undrafted rookie James Hurst replacing left tackle Eugene Monroe last week. But that was at home. It will be a tougher task to operate in sync on the road.

4. Front four's pass rush
Part of the reason the Colts have put up such big numbers is because they haven't faced good defense. As Luck said this week, the Ravens defense is a "beast of its own." Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs got his first sack (which he shared with Elvis Dumervil) last week. Sacks often come in bunches for Suggs, so the Ravens hope it's the start of something more. The Ravens need to get good push with the front four because if they over pursue on the outside and leave lanes open, Luck can beat them with his legs.

5. Ravens receivers going deep
Like the Ravens, the Colts secondary has also been somewhat generous this year. Indianapolis is 21st against the pass, giving up 251.3 yards per game. Steve Smith Sr. continues to carve up opponents, but how will he come out after last week's emotional game against Carolina? Torrey Smith caught his first touchdown of the season versus the Panthers, and will be looking for more. Jacoby Jones continues to struggle with drops, but Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano believes he could break out at any moment.

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