Week after running wild, Ravens grounded by Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ray Rice stood in front of his locker and pulled a ski cap low to cover an angry red welt that ran from his hairline all the way down to his eyebrows. A second welt flared just below his left cheekbone.

"I'm sure those guys got some respect for me," he said, "because I've sure got a lot of respect for them."

A week after running wild all over New England, Rice and the Ravens didn't get to see much of Indianapolis. The same ground game that churned out 234 yards and four touchdowns against the Patriots in the opening round of the postseason fell flat against the Colts, totaling just 87 against the league's 24th-ranked run defense, as Baltimore bowed out meekly 20-3 in Saturday night's AFC divisional playoff game.

"They're different from every other defense we play," said Rice, barely hiding his admiration. He piled up 159 yards and two TDs against New England, but finished this game with only 67 yards on 13 tough carries.

"These guys are fast," he added. "They really move."

After going 87 yards on their opening drive before settling for a 25-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff, the Ravens' offense didn't cross midfield again until the start of the second half.

"The whole week we focused on the run and we practiced accordingly ... they were doing what we saw on film," Colts defensive tackle Antonio Johnson said. "They were very, very, very predictable."

The Ravens' most promising foray into Indianapolis territory after that game-opening drive occurred when Rice took off from the 50 early in the fourth quarter and pin-balled 20 yards through the Colts defense. But defensive end Raheem Brock slammed into Rice from the side, knocking the ball loose with his helmet, and linebacker Clint Session recovered.

"That was a great play, just a great play," Rice said. "I didn't see him. I was surprised to find out a big guy like him got down there. But like I said, they're fast."

The second time Baltimore ventured deep into Colts territory in the final period, quarterback Joe Flacco's desperate heave into double coverage, intended for Derrick Mason, was intercepted by cornerback Antoine Bethea at his own 2-yard line. The time-of-possession battle turned out almost as lopsided as the final score, with Peyton Manning and the Colts offense commandeering 33:58 of the clock to 26:02 for the Ravens.

"We take pride in stopping the run. We want to keep people under 100 yards and 90 yards is too close to that," Johnson said. "So it's not good enough."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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