Colts fall to Ravens 24-10 to remain winless
BALTIMORE—Ever the optimist, Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell remains confident there's still a victory -- or more -- to be had in the weeks ahead.
After the Colts fell to 0-13 with a 24-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the beleaguered coach said, "We just have to find a way to get our team better so we can get a victory. And not just one. We need to stack a few on top of each other. We're running out of time."
So too is Caldwell, whose job appears in jeopardy as the Colts try to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only NFL team in history to finish 0-16.
Even though Indianapolis has been without injured quarterback Peyton Manning for the entire season, the Colts' problems extend well beyond that.
"I really don't focus on myself. ... There's no self-pity or anything of that nature," Caldwell said. "Really, I'm concerned about the men who play for us, making sure these guys keep their heads up, keep fighting to the end. Those are the things that really matter."
From that perspective, the Colts at least made their coach proud Sunday. Despite being harassed by a relentless Ravens defense all afternoon, Dan Orlovsky directed a late scoring drive, throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme on the game's final play.
"The guys kept fighting," Caldwell said. "But obviously, it's little consolation in a game like this."
Precisely. The Colts trailed 17-3 at halftime and had only 53 yards in offense through three quarters.
"Losing (stinks), no matter what it is," said Dan Orlovsky, who was 17 for 37 for 136 yards. "Whether it's football, if it's rock-paper, none of us like to lose. There's nothing fun about losing."
Terrell Suggs had three sacks and forced three fumbles for the Ravens, who have won four straight without injured middle linebacker Ray Lewis.
"They're one of the best defenses in the league statistically in every category for a reason," said Orlovsky, the third quarterback to start this season for Indianapolis. "Are they the best defense in the NFL? I don't know. But I'd like to watch one better."
Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes and Ray Rice ran for 103 yards and a score to help the Ravens win their fourth straight and improve to 7-0 at home.
Baltimore is tied with Pittsburgh for the lead in the AFC North, but the Ravens hold the tiebreaker because of their two wins over the Steelers.
"We have control of our own destiny," Rice said. "We're in the driver's seat. As long as we keep winning, we'll be fine."
The Ravens had lost eight straight to Indianapolis, but that was when Manning was healthy and at the top of his game.
The game was far more lopsided than the final score would indicate. Baltimore led 17-3 at halftime and 24-3 in the third quarter, and the Colts drove 76 yards in the final two minutes in a drive that ended with Orlovsky's TD pass as time expired.
`It just shows that you play as hard as you can until the end," Colts center Jeff Saturday said. "You can't give up. At least it shows we were still playing hard."
The Ravens needed less than five minutes to take the lead for good. After the Colts went three and out following the opening kickoff, Lardarius Webb returned a punt 27 yards to the Indianapolis 40 and Flacco capped a six-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith.
Baltimore's next march covered 66 yards over 13 plays and ended with a 36-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff for a 10-0 lead.
The first quarter ended with the Ravens holding a 111-10 advantage in yardage and an 8-1 lead in first downs.
Nothing changed in the second quarter. Baltimore forced a punt and Flacco went 5 for 7 for 54 yards in a 10-play drive that ended with a 6-yard touchdown run by Rice.
Indianapolis finally got into Baltimore territory when Joe Lefeged returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards. Orlovsky then completed a fourth-down pass to Dallas Clark, and Adam Vinatieri kicked a field goal to make it 17-3 late in the half.
Baltimore went ahead 24-3 with 3:41 left in the third quarter. Flacco rolled to his right and was near the sideline when he threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta in the middle of the end zone.
Flacco went 23 for 31 for 227 yards and an interception.
NOTES: Suggs has a career-high 13 sacks. ... The Colts have only six INTs this season. ... Flacco went over 3,000 yards passing and Rice eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing. ... Smith's TD gave him six, tying Jamal Lewis for most by a Ravens rookie. ... Indy's Dwight Freeney had two sacks to go over 100 for his career.