It was also a special day for Pagano. As he stood at midfield before the game, a number of Ravens greeted him, with Harbaugh and safety Ed Reed pulling him into warm embraces. Meanwhile, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who filled in for Pagano most of the season, was hospitalized in Baltimore Sunday morning with an undisclosed illness and was unable to call plays.
Pagano's presence seemed to mitigate the traditional bitterness Baltimore fans feel toward the Colts. Fans stood and cheered as he was introduced before the game, transitioning to mild boos when his team followed him onto the field.
The atmosphere Sunday felt nothing like it did when the Colts came to town for a playoff game in 2007. Ravens fans thirsted for blood that day, urging their team to avenge the spirit of Johnny Unitas and all the other Baltimore Colts whose legacies were left behind when the franchise moved to Indianapolis aboard a fleet of Mayflower trucks.
"I think that was probably the biggest game we've ever had here," said Justin Sisserman of Mount Washington, reflecting during the pre-game tailgate he hosts beside the stadium. "It was either going to be the best game in Baltimore history, or it was going to be the worst. And it ended up being the worst."
The Ravens lost 15-6 that day despite holding Peyton Manning and the Colts to five field goals. Fans like Sisserman, whose dad banned football from the family television for years after the Colts left Baltimore, took it hard. "I was depressed for a week," he said.
But on Sunday, he and many others spoke of moving on.
Sam Aylor of Salisbury wasn't quite ready to join them. He wore a blue-and-white Unitas jersey underneath his black Ravens cap.
"I just figured Johnny would want to be here to see us whip the Colts," he said. "I'm old school I guess. I'm one of those people who can't let go of the Colts' glory days."
Aylor came to the game with Henry Long, his childhood neighbor from Sparrows Point. Both men grew up idolizing Unitas and his teammates, though they have also taken Lewis and the Ravens into their hearts.
"He's one of us," Aylor said of Lewis. "I hope they put a statue of him right next to the one of Johnny outside the stadium."