Ravens and Colts Preview, Harbaugh Praises Justin Forsett


Jan 6, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) avoids pressure to throw a touchdown pass to tight end Dennis Pitta (not shown) against the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC Wild Card playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption.  Today we have a Ravens and Colts preview, look forward to an improved Andrew Luck, preview battle plans for Sunday, and heap more praise on Justin Forsett.

Ravens and Colts Preview

The Ravens hit the road this weekend in their second away contest for the year.  Playing in Indy is a tough spot for any team, as the Colts enjoy a 14-4 record at home across the last three seasons.  Meanwhile, the Ravens were a mere 2-6 on the road last season.

These two teams last faced each other in 2013 during the Wild Card round of the playoffs, when the Ravens used stout defense to cruise to a 24-9 victory.  Andrew Luck was a rookie that season, and he had a shaky game, going 28 of 54 for 288 yards and an interception.

The Ravens obviously expect to have a tougher time keeping Luck out of the end zone this time around, and they realize this is a better offense than they faced before. “There are a few (quarterbacks) that’d be elite, and he’s one of them,” said Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

Battle plans for Sunday

Dev Panchwagh at Russell Street Report points out that the Raven’s weakness has been the back end play of the safeties so far, who are prone to giving up big plays.  It will be critical that the Ravens keep safeties deep to prevent the big play this weekend, as the Colts can score in a hurry if Andrew Luck is able to connect with the speedy T.Y. Hilton.

More from Ravens News

On the Ravens side of things, it is important that they stick to the run and keep that high scoring offense off the field.  When Flacco does throw, he should be taking advantage of Indy’s weak safeties and linebackers, who struggle in coverage.  Vontae Davis has turned into a shutdown corner, and he will likely be fighting it out with Steve Smith the entire game.

More praise for Justin Forsett

Justin Forsett has quietly been one of the better backs in the NFL through four games, despite limited opportunities.  And his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by the coaching staff, even though he isn’t really getting much attention from anybody else.  John Harbaugh has nothing but high praise for the veteran running back.

“When you first saw him come out here, it’s like, ‘Whoa, he’s good.’ He’s better than his reputation,” Harbaugh said. “He’s underrated. You could see that right away. [He] had such a great feel for the offense. But I don’t know if I really could have guessed that he’d break tackles like he does. He’s really doing a great job in yards after the hit. That has been a strength, and you wouldn’t assume that just looking at him.”

Forsett has certainly been a surprise for a guy who has been on four different teams in the last four seasons.  After getting cut by the lowly Jaguars, the Ravens took a flyer and nobody expected him to perform at the level that he has through four games.  It’s a great story, and a perfect example of how the right situation can produce a star when nobody expects it.