Kickoff: 1 p.m., Lucas Oil Stadium
TV: WJZ Channel 13 (Baltimore), WUSA Channel 9 (Washington, D.C.), CBS crew (Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn)
Radio: WBAL (1090 AM/101.5 FM) and 98 Rock (97.9 FM), Ravens crew (Gerry Sandusky, Dennis Pitta); Compass Media Networks (Chris Carrino, Brian Baldinger); WDCN La Nueva 87.7 on the Ravens app: (David Andrade, Gustavo Salazar, Ximena Lugo Latorre)
The Ravens and Colts are both AFC playoff contenders and this game could have tie-breaker implications at the end of the season. Baltimore wants to avoid losing two straight for the first time in 2020, coming off a 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Falling further behind the Steelers in the AFC North would seriously damage the Ravens' chances to win the division. The Colts want to keep their unbeaten home record (3-0) intact as they battle the Tennessee Titans (5-2) for the AFC South lead.
The Colts lead the all-time series, 8-4, and the Ravens have never won (0-5) in Indianapolis. In their last meeting in 2017, the Ravens took a 23-16 decision at M&T Bank Stadium. Justin Tucker was 3 for 3 on field goal attempts. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had six catches for 100 yards for the Colts.
Storylines to Watch
How will the Ravens' defense deal with this week's challenges?
Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey (COVID-19) will miss his first game of the season and seven other defensive players did not practice this week after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Humphrey's absence will put the onus on veterans Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith to lead a cornerback group that is also missing Anthony Averett (shoulder). Colts quarterback Philip Rivers has tons of experience and will be looking for mismatches he can exploit.
Can the Ravens' new-look offensive line handle the Colts' defensive front?
The Ravens are facing another top defensive team in the Colts who are ranked No. 2 in fewest yards allowed per game. Baltimore took a major hit to its offensive line against the Steelers, losing All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley for the season and right guard Tyre Phillips (ankle) for at least the next three games. Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr. has shifted from right tackle to left tackle and Patrick Mekari is expected to be the new starting right guard. However, Indianapolis has some studs in the front seven like tackle DeForest Buckner, linebacker Darius Leonard and edge rusher Justin Houston, who will look to shut down Baltimore's running game and pressure Lamar Jackson.
Will the Ravens' receivers break loose?
Baltimore enters the game ranked 31st in passing offense, coming off a game when Marquise "Hollywood" Brown had just one catch. Willie Snead IV had his most productive game of the season (five catches, 106 yards) in Week 8, but the Colts have 11 interceptions while only allowing 10 touchdown passes. Against a solid secondary, Jackson will have to be careful with the football and his receivers will have to make contested catches.
Ravens defense vs. Colts quarterback Philip Rivers
Rivers seems to be growing more comfortable in his first season with Indianapolis, throwing three touchdown passes in each of his last two games. The Colts have allowed just eight sacks, the fewest in the NFL. Rivers is a savvy quarterback who is hard to sack, despite his lack of mobility, because he recognizes coverages quickly and throws receivers open. Like Ben Roethlisberger last week, Rivers is dangerous in big moments even when he doesn't start well. The more pressure the Ravens can put on Rivers with their pass rush, the better their chances.
Ravens running game vs. Colts defense
Rushing for 265 yards against the Steelers was a positive sign for Baltimore's rushing attack. Rookie running back J.K. Dobbins is coming off his best game (113 yards), Gus Edwards has been consistent all season and Jackson's running ability always puts stress on opposing defenses. The Colts have a strong front seven and a swarming defense that hopes to choke off Jackson's running lanes. But even if running back Mark Ingram II (ankle) misses his second straight game, the battle between Baltimore's running attack and the Colts' stingy defense will be a key to determining the outcome.
Ravens offensive line vs. Colts pass rush
Playing without Stanley and Phillips, the Ravens offensive line will face a trio of strong pass rushers – Denico Autrey (four sacks), Tyquan Lewis (3.5 sacks) and Houston (3.5 sacks). The Colts don't like to blitz as much as Baltimore, and Jackson's mobility helps him avoid pressure. But the Ravens' offensive line will have to protect Jackson to get their passing attack going.