Easy win for Ravens comes in push toward playoffs

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BALTIMORE — As long as Terrell Suggs continues to harass opposing quarterbacks, and if defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano repeatedly finds the perfect blitzes to call, the Baltimore Ravens will keep on winning without Ray Lewis.

Suggs had three sacks and forced three fumbles as part of an overwhelming defensive performance by the Ravens, who kept the Indianapolis Colts winless with a 24-10 victory Sunday.

Lewis, Baltimore’s standout middle linebacker and longtime defensive leader, missed a fourth straight game with a right toe injury. The Ravens (10-3) have won every one of those games.

“Right now I think we’re all just doing our part holding the levee until the general gets back,” Suggs said. “That’s why I honestly think we’re playing the way we are.”

Baltimore limited the hapless Colts to 167 yards - just 53 through three quarters. Were it not for a touchdown on the game’s final play, Indianapolis would have been held without a TD for only the second time since the 2003 season opener.

Baltimore didn’t recover any of the three fumbles that Suggs forced, but he harassed Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky throughout the afternoon.

“We shut them down early, and then they had to start passing the ball,” Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said. “That’s when Terrell Suggs went crazy.”

Suggs, a movie buff, described the action this way: “It’s chaos out there. A lot is going on more than you see. It’s like ‘The Matrix’ out there with a little bit of ‘Inception’. It’s a little bit crazy.”

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 Peyton Manning was healthy and at the top of his game. He has yet to play this year because of a neck injury.

Orlovsky, the third Colts quarterback to start this season, went 17 for 37 for 136 yards and an interception. He was sacked four times and hounded throughout the game by Suggs.

“He’s as good a pass rusher as I’ve played against,” Orlovsky said of Suggs. “I can’t say anything bad about him as a football player.”

Suggs attributed Baltimore’s success to the schemes set in place by Pagano, in his first season as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator. To emphasize the point, Suggs sarcastically made Pagano out to be clueless.

“If anybody trying to hire a head coach, if they ask me I’m going to tell them he [stinks],” Suggs said. “He’s a terrible coach and his players don’t love him. He don’t know what he’s doing when he’s calling a game.”

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