Once Flacco took the final snap and handed the ball to referee Mike Carey, Lewis did his trademark dance. This was indeed Lewis' day. After a 17-year run with one franchise, he earned that much in the final home game of his career.
But when it was over, the Ravens rushed onto the field to celebrate the continuation of not just Lewis’ Hall of Fame worthy career, but their season. A 24-9 victory over the
The Ravens and Broncos will play at
"I think we're all appreciative, grateful for the opportunity to be here and to witness this historic moment in sports," said Harbaugh who is now 6-4 in the postseason, including 4-0 in wild-card games. "It wasn't just about one guy. Nobody understands it more than the one guy we're talking about. It was about a team. It was about a city, a fan base, about a great sport, about a great career. I'm just humbled to be part of it."
Lewis, who announced Wednesday that this playoff run would be his "last ride," took a victory lap around M&T Bank Stadium, reminiscent of former Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. at Camden Yards after he broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak. In his first game since he tore his right triceps on Oct. 14, Lewis was credited with a game-high 13 tackles.
"It probably won't sink in," said Lewis when asked about never getting an opportunity to play at M&T Bank Stadium again. "You know what, the reason is because the next thing on my mind is, as a team, we are poised to go do something. As men, we made a commitment to each other and that is to head next week to Denver to get a win."
Flacco and the Ravens' defense which gave up plenty of yards but kept the Colts out of the end zone turned a tenuous four-point halftime lead into a relatively comfortable victory, allowing the Ravens to pay tribute to Lewis in the game's final couple of minutes.
Shrugging off a sluggish start, Flacco threw second-half touchdowns to tight end
Held without a catch in the first half, Boldin set a playoff team record with 145 receiving yards on five catches. His 18-yard touchdown over
"The bottom line is we haven't won it all, and that's been our goal, and that's our goal this year," Flacco said. "Right now, we're just focused on going up to Denver and we'll have to move on from this one quickly and get another step closer to our goal."
After the game, Boldin acknowledged that he wanted to play Denver again and when asked why Saturday will be different, the wide receiver said, "We'll make it different."
A re-tooled offensive line, which featured
The Ravens also rushed for 170 yards but the ground game was marred by two
"I'm going to address it. I'm not a fumbler, you guys know that, and that'll be the last time I address me fumbling," said Rice who lost both fumbles in Colts' territory. "It won't happen again."
On defense, the Ravens allowed the Colts to amass 419 yards and to control the ball for 37:32, yet they forced two turnovers and sacked Luck three times. Luck completed 28-of-54 passes for 288 yards, but he turned the ball over twice in Ravens' territory.
By the time pre-game introductions began, there wasn’t an open seat to be found. Following the announcement of safety
With all the emotion on both sides — Colts head coach and former Ravens defensive coordinator
That appeared to get Flacco going. He was 3-for-4 for 76 yards on the Ravens’ second drive of the third quarter, which ended with a 20-yard touchdown to Pitta. Following kicker
About an hour after the game and his victory lap, Lewis said he would allow his teammates to enjoy the victory for no more than 12 hours. Lewis had already turned in his iPad so it could be loaded with game film of
"At the end of the day, it's not about me and Peyton. It's about their team against our team," Lewis said. "I just like our team. I love our team right now and I'm really looking forward to going out there and playing them next week."