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(Sunday, December 11th)
Final Score: Baltimore 24, Indianapolis 10
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Joe Flacco threw for 227 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Baltimore Ravens snapped an eight-game losing streak to Indianapolis with a 24-10 triumph.
Flacco ended 23-of-31 with an interception for the Ravens (10-3), who tied the idle Steelers for the AFC North division lead and bested the NFL's worst club for the first time since December, 2001.
Ray Rice tacked on 103 yards and a score on 26 carries, while Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta each recorded a TD reception.
Even without star linebacker Ray Lewis, the Baltimore defense held its foe to 167 yards of total offense.
"It's really important. That's what this time of year is going to have to be about," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said about Rice's performance as well as the defense's. "There are going to be games when you're not going to be able to run the ball, and we'll have to lean on the passing game. But, if you can run the ball, and you can stop the run, you should always have a chance this time of year."
Dan Orlovsky was 17-of-37 for 136 yards and a TD to Jacob Tamme on the final play of the game for the Colts (0-13), who lost their 14th in a row dating back to this past January's playoff defeat against the Jets.
"Every week is a little bit different. They did a good job of following us up in terms of our running game, did a good job in terms of defending the pass, all around you have to give credit to them," said Colts head coach Jim Caldwell. "We obviously didn't perform as well as I think we're capable of."
That matches their longest stretch of futility since the franchise -- then located in Baltimore -- dropped 14 straight during the 1981 season.
Indy hasn't started a year by losing 13 in a row since 1986.
Down 24-3 in the fourth, the Colts' first three possessions ended with a punt, interception and fourth-down incompletion. Their final drive began with 2:18 remaining on their own 24-yard line, and Orlovsky showed flashes of brilliance not displayed in the entire contest.
He completed six straight passes to get into Baltimore territory, then two spikes, a completion to Pierre Garcon and two incompletions set up a 3rd- and-10 with eight ticks left. As time expired, Tamme managed to haul in a 13- yard strike but it was too little, too late.
"Losing sucks, no matter what it is," said Orlovsky. "If it's football or 'rock, paper, [scissors],' none of us like to lose. There's nothing fun about losing."
Baltimore's opening possession was capped by an eight-yard connection from Flacco to Smith. The drive was set up by a 27-yard punt return by Lardarius Webb to the Indianapolis 40.
The Ravens' second drive was also successful, as Billy Cundiff connected from 36 yards out for a 10-0 lead to complete a 66-yard march.
Rice then ended a drive which began early in the second quarter with his 10th rushing score of the season -- a six-yard scamper -- for a 17-0 cushion.
Indy's first foray into enemy territory came on the next series, which Adam Vinatieri ended on a 22-yard boot but the Colts couldn't make any more headway and trailed 17-3 at the half.
Flacco hit Pitta for a seven-yard score to push Baltimore's edge to 24-3 with 3:41 left in the third quarter, but the Ravens' next series was derailed in Colts territory when Joe Lefeged picked off Flacco in the end zone.
"Yeah, I was throwing it to Dennis," Flacco admitted. "He was actually my main read on that, and they did a good job of covering him up. (After scrambling to extend the play) I happened to peek back and see Dennis with his arms up in the end zone."
Rice notched his fifth 100-plus-yard performance this season and his second straight game over the century mark...Baltimore totaled 358 yards of offense...The Colts tallied just 47 total yards in the first half...The Ravens play at San Diego and the Colts host Tennessee next Sunday...Indianapolis finished the 1986 season by winning its final three games...The Colts also went 1-15 in 1991, 0-8-1 during the strike-shortened 1982 season and 2-14 in 1981...Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney totaled two sacks and became the 26th player in NFL history to reach 100 (101 1/2), and has also posted 25 multi-sack games in his career.
12/11 18:12:03 ET