Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is looking to accomplish a rare feat in this year’s Super Bowl in New Orleans. He already accomplished step one of the feat in becoming just the third player in NFL history to go 12+ years between Super Bowl appearances. He was the MVP in his first Super Bowl in 2001 when his Ravens beat the New York Giants 34-7 in Tampa.
Now, 12 years later, he returns to the big game and joins Junior Seau and Darren Sharper in accomplishing that rare feat. If he can once again lead the Ravens to the title, he will do something Sharper did in 2010 but Seau couldn’t and that’s win his return trip.
Lewis certainly is an inspiration to this team. I’ll admit I didn’t think he would have much affect on this team by returning. I thought he’d be a liability since he is injured and honestly, doesn’t look to have it anymore. He’s struggled in coverage and being in the right spot to make the play.
Boy, was I wrong.
Lewis has 25 tackles in the Ravens’ three victories in route to New Orleans, and helped his team knock off three of the best quarterbacks in the AFC. They held Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts to nine points in the 24-9 victory at home in the Wildcard round.
In the divisional round they faced the tall task of playing at Denver and taking on Peyton Manning. Lewis led Baltimore to yet another victory and held Manning and the Broncos offense to just 21 points.
The final task to get to the Super Bowl was knocking off the NFL’s top rated offense in efficiency. They held Tom Brady and his New England Patriots to only 13 points, and held them scoreless in the second half when it mattered most.
Credit Lewis for all of this. Just when everyone thinks this once dominant Ravens defense was done, they step up when their leader returns.
For those that don’t remember, Lewis announced the week leading up to the playoffs he would retire at the end of the season after a great 17-year career. No one gave them much of a chance to get past the Colts after the Ravens lost four of their last five games and limped their way into the postseason.
This team looked lost and had no direction in those losses. They gained Lewis back for the playoffs, and his emotion alone has rallied this team to do the impossible. Credit Lewis for all of it.
Now, Lewis will try and join legends like John Elway and Jerome Bettis to win a Super Bowl in their final game of a illustrius career. What a story this is to follow the next couple of weeks.