Baltimore's current NFL team beat its predecessor Sunday, rallying for a 38-31 victory over Indianapolis and delighting the 68,898 fans who waited 14 years to root in person against the team that long ago abandoned the city.
"This was our opportunity to give something back to the fans. They've been awfully good to us," said Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda, who coached the Colts in Baltimore and Indianapolis. "I hope they're satisfied with the victory."
Judging by the loud cheers as the clock wound down, the fans couldn't have been more appreciative.
"I think the fans here got a little bit of the short end of the stick, not necessarily from the Colts but from the league," Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa said. "They just wanted a little bit of it back. I hope today they got that."
Back in Baltimore for the first time since Robert Irsay moved the franchise to Indianapolis in 1984, the Colts (2-10) immediately made themselves at home in a hostile environment by taking a 17-3 lead in the first quarter.
But the Ravens (5-7) outscored Indianapolis 17-0 in the fourth quarter to win a second consecutive game for the first time this season.
After the final gun, Harbaugh gave the game ball to former Baltimore Colts great Johnny Unitas, who rooted for the Ravens from the sideline.
"I just saw him standing over there and I thought he might appreciate having the ball, considering everything he's done for this city," Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh, who played for Indianapolis from 1994-97, was 16-for-25 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Ironically, he led the Colts to a 26-21 victory ver the visiting Ravens in 1996.
Priest Holmes ran for 103 yards, including the go-ahead score on a 36-yard run with 13:07 remaining, as the Ravens registered their biggest win -- at least as far as their fans are concerned -- since joining the NFL in 1996 following their move from Cleveland.
Marshall Faulk rushed for a career-high 192 yards, scored twice and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark (1,037) for the fourth time in five seasons with the Colts.
"I guess it's a little more personal here because of the old ties," Faulk said. "But get over it - you've got a team now."
Indianapolis rookie Peyton Manning was 27-for-42 for a career-best 357 yards and three touchdowns despite losing top wide receiver Marvin Harrison during the first series with a shoulder separation. Torrance Small filled in with nine catches for 153 yards.
It was Manning's ninth straight game with at least one TD pass.
"To me, that was his best game by far. It's encouraging to see him play like that," Indianapolis coach Jim Mora said.
Despite the play of Faulk and Manning, the Colts fell to 0-6 on the road.
"It was loud, no question about it," Mora said. "There were a lot of boos and I know they're not real happy with our football team, but I didn't feel like it was any more than you usually get on the road."
Down 24-13 at halftime, the Ravens got within a field goal on a 2-yard run by Holmes midway through the third quarter and a 2-point conversion pass from Harbaugh to Floyd Turner.
Indianapolis went up 31-21 on a touchdown pass from Manning to Jerome Pathon late in the period, but Baltimore used a TD pass from Harbaugh to Turner, Holmes' second touchdown run and a 47-yard field goal by Matt Stover to go up 38-31 with 2:49 left.
Manning took the Colts to the Baltimore 24 before his final pass bounced out of Faulk's hands into the arms of Ravens defensive back Ralph Staten with 1:05 left.
With that, Baltimore fans started to celebrate in earnest.
Indianapolis went ahead 10-3 when Faulk outleaped Duane Starks in the end zone on a 34-yard pass from Manning.
Faulk outdid himself on the Colts' next possession with a 68-yard run that made it 17-3. It was the longest run of his career and the team's longest since 1986.
The Ravens got within a touchdown in the second quarter when Harbaugh threw a 15-yard TD pass to James Roe, who replaced an injured Michael Jackson in the starting lineup.
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