x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ravens look to silence Manning

The Indianapolis Colts will be fighting their past more than the Baltimore Ravens to get into the AFC Championship game today: they are 0-4 in play-off games

The Indianapolis Colts will be fighting more than the Baltimore Ravens to get into the AFC Championship game today: they'll be fighting their own dark past. The top-seeds on the AFC side of the NFL play-offs, the Colts are 0-4 in play-off games coming off a bye week which they earned by posting the best regular-season record and have lost three times in the past decade when in this position.

In 2005 they started the year 13-0 only to lose two of their final three and then lose after a first-round bye. They have lost their last two regular-season games and history is against them in every way as no one has made it to the Super Bowl in 15 years after losing their final two regular-season games. The Ravens will be trying to repeat what they did a year ago, when they knocked off the Tennessee Titans, who were in the same position the Colts are now with the best record in the AFC at 13-3.

Baltimore have won four of their last five and last Sunday beat the New England Patriots on the road in the wild-card round, jumping off to a 24-7 lead and coasting to a 33-14 victory over the three-time Super Bowl champions. "If that matters I guess there's an edge there somewhere,'' Ravens coach John Harbaugh said when told of the Colts' recent play-off record. The Colts barely beat the Ravens earlier this year, 17-15, on a day when Peyton Manning threw two interceptions while under constant pressure.

That victory lifted Manning's record against Baltimore to 7-2, having won the last four in part by forcing Baltimore into 25 turnovers. With quarterback Joe Flacco nursing a bad hip, the Ravens will try to run stick with a crushing rushing attack that all but obliterated the Patriots and attack Manning aggressively on defence. @Email:sports@thenational.ae Indianapolis v Baltimore, 5.15am Sunday, ESPN