There’s a twinge of acceptance that comes along with the sting of losing, when you realize that you lost to the best. Even though a team got defeated on their way to a title, it doesn’t seem quite as bad sometimes, when the winner of that match goes on to win the whole thing. The Indianapolis Colts may have lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC wild card round, but at least they lost to the champs.
The Colts kind of got swept under the rug as being the first victim on the Ravens’ run to the title, considering what the Ravens had to go through after facing Indianapolis. After taking out the upstart team of the year in Baltimore, the Ravens had to face two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks on their way to Super Bowl XLVII. The road wasn’t easy, and each game was a separate challenge.
Although the marquee match-ups that followed the game between the Colts and Ravens were a bit more sexy, it shouldn’t be discounted how close the Colts were to knocking Baltimore out in the first round. The Colts looked rushed and overwhelmed at times, but they still had plenty of early opportunities to retire Ray Lewis in his home stadium. An abundance of penalties and turnovers, coupled with the last-second loss of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, proved to be too much to overcome for Indianapolis.
So, the Colts had to watch the Ravens raise the title, and a few players had to take a bittersweet trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. The loss may have hurt, but knowing how close they came to knocking off the best team in the world should also be inspiring. The Colts took an early exit form the postseason, but at least they lost to the champs.