Let's begin with this because there's no way to underplay it: the Indianapolis Colts were awful.
In fact, they were every bit as awful as advertised. CBS kept showing those sideline shots of Peyton Manning. He started out looking exasperated. Then he progressed to looking disgusted. By the end of the game, he looked like a man about to pass a kidney stone as he jogged off the field with his head down.
So it's hard to say how well the Ravens played in this ho-hum 24-10 win over the Manning-less Colts Sunday.
But even if we're not handing out style points, give the Ravens credit. They came out and did exactly what you're supposed to do to an 0-12 team.
They smacked the Colts in the mouth early, driving 40 yards in six plays on their first possession before Joe Flacco found Torrey Smith in the corner of the end zone for an 8-yard scoring strike.
By the end of the quarter, sore-legged Billy Cundiff had given them a 10-0 lead with a 36-yard field goal. And on their first possession of the second quarter, they drove 69 yards in 10 plays before Ray Rice scored from 6 yards out for a 17-0 lead.
If this were a boxing match, the ref would have jumped in and stopped it right there. But NFL rules mandate these games must be played to the end, even though M&T Bank Stadium was half-empty by the middle of the fourth quarter.
"It's a different ballgame when you're playing against Indy and Peyton Manning is standing on the sidelines," Ravens safety Ed Reed said in the understatement of the season. "We'll take it, though. We'll definitely take it. We needed it."
So the Ravens win to go 10-3 and keep pace with the other big boys in the AFC: New England, Pittsburgh and Houston.
Again, they did what they had to do. They won at home, where they've now won 17 of their past 18 games. They avoided a letdown and beat a lousy team. And they kept the momentum going for the stretch drive, a stretch drive they hope carries them to the Super Bowl.
So, mission accomplished, ugly game or no.
And, please, let's not hear any wailing about that garbage-time touchdown the Colts scored as the clock ran out.
It meant nothing. And everybody knows it. Oh, sure, John Harbaugh mentioned it in his post-game remarks, saying the Ravens were "disappointed" to give up the points.
But that's only because that's what coaches always say. Sure, the Ravens were close to setting a record, which Harbaugh also mentioned. Prior to that last Colts drive, they had held Indy to 91 yards of total offense, the fewest in Ravens franchise history.
But that's a record that would last in the collective consciousness for about, oh, seven seconds. Besides, the Ravens defense had some young players on the field in the final minutes, so giving up a touchdown there was hardly a disgrace.
Speaking of defense, how about that Terrell Suggs? Is this guy having a monster season or what?
The big outside linebacker had three sacks Sunday to give him 13 on the season. It was the third time he had three sacks this season, and the fourth time in his career.
He also smacked Colts quarterback Dan Orlovsky hard enough to force three fumbles, setting a new Ravens team record and giving him a franchise-record 28 forced fumbles in his career.
"He's a killer, man," outside linebacker Jarret Johnson said of Suggs. "He's playing as good as he's ever played. ... He's gotta be in the running for MVP."
Yep, he's gotta be. Suggs spent so much time in the Indy backfield he qualified for a parking pass. He came off the edge so powerfully that he simply wore out the Colts' rookie left tackle, Anthony Castonzo, who has to be wondering if he can go back to Boston College for another year.
Even when the Colts chip-blocked him, Suggs was quick enough and strong enough to pressure Orlovsky, who'll be having nightmares about Suggs for weeks.
And naturally when the game was over, the irrepressible Suggs offered his own unique take on what it's like for someone like Orlovsky to face the Ravens defense and cough the ball up.
"It's chaos out there," Suggs said. "A lot more is going on than you all actually see. It's like 'The Matrix' out there with a little bit of 'The Inception.'"
"It's a little bit crazy," he continued.
But let Suggs have his fun. He earned it Sunday. So did everyone else on the Ravens.
They did what they had to do. They beat the worst team in the league. On this sunny and cold Sunday, they were plenty good enough.
Listen to Kevin Cowherd Tuesdays at 7:20 a.m. on 105.7 The Fan's "Norris and Davis Show."