BALTIMORE — The high-profile return of former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to Baltimore as the Colts' head coach promises to trigger strong emotions on both sidelines due to his brave battle with leukemia and his connections with the AFC North champions.
Pagano isn't alone as a member of the Colts with past ties to the Ravens.
Former Ravens S Tom Zbikowski, the team's 2008 third-round draft choice out of Notre Dame, signed a three-year, $5.4 million free agent contract with the Colts last year. And former Ravens starting DE Cory Redding signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Colts. Former Ravens NG Brandon McKinney is on injured reserve.
"We are going to have a lot of familiar faces in here, all guys that were really a big part of what we have done … the last four or five years," said Ravens coach John Harbaugh, also mentioning former Baltimore assistants Marwan Maalouf (Colts special teams coordinator) and Roy Anderson (safeties coach).
Redding, 32, has 36 tackles and two sacks in 14 starts for Indy. He said he feels prepared to face his old team; he did so before against the Lions, the team that drafted him out of Texas. "I got a good experience going back to Detroit and playing there for my first six years, going back to Ford Field was special, it felt good," he said. "Just to get back in that atmosphere of playing my old team, I believe, prepared me for this week."
Zbikowski has 38 tackles and one interception in 11 starts for the Colts this season.
"It will be fun," said Zbikowski, who was listed as questionable with a knee injury. "I don't plan on doing anything out of the ordinary other than dressing in the other locker room. It's nothing big to me."
NO ADVANCEMENT: With Saturday's loss, the Bengals still own the league's longest drought without a playoff victory. Cincinnati hasn't won in the postseason since 1990 and is 0-4 since. The Lions (21 years) are second currently, last winning a playoff game in 1991. And Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is 0-4 in postseason games. Jim Mora is the only coach (0-6) with more postseason losses without a win.
LUCKY BET: Andrew Luck has already won once this weekend. A horse named after the Colts QB earned the second victory of his career Friday at the Meadows in Indiana, Pa. The 3-year-old gelding has two wins in six career outings.