Kruger helps Ravens beat Colts in Wild Card

Kruger helps Ravens beat Colts in Wild Card
January 6, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Paul Kruger on his monster day in the Ravens' 24-9 win over the Colts

Paul Kruger truly did a little bit of everything for the Ravens on Sunday afternoon. 

He spent a lot of time in the Indianapolis backfield and finished with 2 1/2 sacks of quarterback Andrew Luck. Kruger ended up with four tackles, a pass defense and a forced fumble. It was a busy day for Kruger,who helped the Ravens keep the Colts under control en route to a 24-9 victory in an AFC Wild Card game at M&T Bank Stadium. 

Kruger came on strong in the second half of the season, posting 7 1/2 of his team-high nine sacks during the team's final eight games. He really flourished late, and it was easy to see Kruger's confidence and aggressiveness growing-- something that carried over into this playoff game. 

"I thought he played well," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I saw him get to the quarterback a whole bunch. He had a bunch of quarterback hits. He had 2 1/2 sacks. He played tremendously well. Paul is having a great year."

The way Kruger came on in the second half of the season helped the Ravens because they were missing Terrell Suggs for the first six games, something that truly affected their pass rush. But Kruger developed into a solid pass rusher, which really gave the Baltimore defense a boost in the later games. 

Kruger helped out again in this contest. He also said that this wound up being an emotional day due to everything involving it being Ray Lewis' last home game as a Raven. 

"It was truly electric," Kruger said when talking with the media afterwards. "We had the crowd going crazy. We had more media than ever, and we had Ray getting your mind right. There were so many reasons to fight on and play with the passion that was required."

Kruger said everything just came together really nicely for the defense in this game, a big reason they were able to keep Luck quiet enough.

"The game plan was set up real nice, and after we got off [to a good start] a little bit, it just set up real nice," Kruger said. "Then the offense started throwing the ball a little bit, and it was time for us to tee of."