BALTIMORE Andrew Luck was harried and hurried in his first career playoff appearance as the Indianapolis Colts' unlikely run ended.
Coach Chuck Pagano's emotional return to Baltimore also ended abruptly as the Colts fell to the Baltimore Ravens 24-9 in an AFC wild-card game Sunday.
"The Ravens made plays when they needed to, and we didn't," Luck said. "Field goals in the red zone killed us. Some bad balls by me killed us. I wish we could have done better."
After improving from 2-14 to 11-5 with No. 1 overall draft pick Luck running their potent offense, the Colts couldn't even score a touchdown against the Ravens, who advanced to the conference semifinals against Denver on Saturday.
But Pagano chose to emphasize the improvements the Colts made in a season filled with adversity rather than dwell on the way it ended.
"The foundation is set, and we said we were going to build one on rock and not on sand," Pagano said. "You weather storms like this, and you learn from times like this. This disappointment and the feelings they all have right now, that's what's going to propel us to 2013 and motivate us to come back and work even harder."
One key moving forward will be Luck, who reached the playoffs as a rookie.
Luck was 28 for 54 for 288 yards and an interception but was often under pressure and forced to scramble by a Ravens defense energized by the return of linebacker Ray Lewis from a torn triceps.
Lewis, who announced last week he would retire after Baltimore's playoff run, played the final home game of his 17-year career.
"We still had opportunities," said Luck, who was sacked three times. "We still put ourselves in positions to score and didn't take advantage of them, and a lot of credit goes to the Baltimore defense. What a great, great unit. I wish we could have capitalized on a couple of those drives, but we didn't."
Pagano, a former Ravens defensive coordinator who missed 12 Colts games this season while undergoing treatment for leukemia, coached his first playoff game. But offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who had a 9-3 record coaching in Pagano's absence, missed the game after being hospitalized with nausea and headaches, leaving play-calling duties to quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen.
After the game, Pagano said Arians would remain hospitalized in Baltimore overnight for observation and likely rejoin the Colts in Indianapolis today.
"Just precautionary," Pagano said. "I think every test they've done on Bruce came back negative. He's in good shape. He'll be back with us (today)."