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Lewis, Ravens advance after topping Colts

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' illustrious 17-year career will continue for at least another week, and his quest for a second Super Bowl title is still alive.

Lewis, who announced last week that he will retire after this season, posted a game-high 13 tackles in his final game at M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens beat the Indianapolis Colts 24-9 in Sunday's AFC wild card matchup.

Quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 282 yards with two touchdowns as the Ravens advance to the AFC divisional round against the Denver Broncos next Saturday.

"For it to go the way it went today, I wouldn't change (anything)," Lewis said. "Just a very emotional day."

The 13-time Pro Bowler was playing in his first game since Oct. 14. He had missed the Ravens' last 10 games with a torn right triceps.

The Ravens took the last snap of the game with Lewis in on offense, and he was swarmed by teammates as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

"It's always so funny to hear people say, 'Well, he's not the same that he was 10 years ago,' " coach John Harbaugh said. "Well, who is? None of us, but he's found different ways to play the game and play it so well. He's still a great football player."

Anquan Boldin added 145 receiving yards, a Ravens single-game playoff record, and a touchdown. Rookie running back Bernard Pierce had 103 yards on 13 carries.

The Colts' loss ends an impressive ride for an organization that tallied 11 regular season wins and earned a playoff berth a year after going just 2-14. The Colts rallied all season behind coach Chuck Pagano, who battled leukemia and returned to the team before its Week 17 win over the Texans.

Pagano was an assistant coach with the Ravens for four years prior to getting the head coaching job in Indianapolis.

"I told them all, 'When you walk out of here, you hold your head high and be very, very proud of how you played this game, how you've represented this organization,' " Pagano said.

Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck went 28-of-54 for 288 yards with an interception and Reggie Wayne had nine catches for 114 yards in a losing effort.

Baltimore led by just four at halftime, but pulled away with two second-half touchdown receptions, the first by tight end Dennis Pitta and the second by Boldin. All of Boldin's catches came in the second half.

"I went up to (Flacco) before the game and told him I felt like 200 yards today," Boldin said. "I know he thought I was joking, but he gave me a shot in the second half."

After a scoreless first quarter which saw each team turn the ball over once, the Ravens notched the first score of the day on Justin Tucker's 23-yard field goal.

The Colts evened the score almost 9 minutes later on Adam Vinatieri's 47-yard field goal, making it a 3-3 game.

Baltimore followed with a 63-yard scoring drive keyed by a Ray Rice 47-yard catch and run that put the ball at the Indianapolis 2-yard line. Fullback Vonta Leach punched it into the end zone on the next play, giving the Ravens a 10-3 lead.

A Vinatieri 52-yard field goal as time expired in the half made it 10-6 at the break, but the margin got no closer in the second half.

Notes: Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was hospitalized before the game. Arians, who coached the Colts while Pagano was out during his battle with leukemia, had dealt with the flu this week. Quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen called the plays with Arians out. ... With his nine receptions, Wayne has 92 career playoff catches, moving him into second place all-time in that category behind Jerry Rice, who had 151 career postseason receptions. ... The Ravens are the only NFL team to win a playoff game in each of the past five postseasons.
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