NFL

Ravens' Lewis puts bow on 17-year career with second ring

{eot}
Associated Press
2/3/2013 11:05:45 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

NEW ORLEANS -- Ray Lewis will ride into retirement as a champion.

Baltimore's standout middle linebacker began his final night on the football field with a motivational speech to his teammates. He ended it looking upward into a shower of silver streamers and purple confetti after the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 Sunday night to win the Super Bowl.

"It's simple: When God is for you, who can be against you?" Lewis said, clutching the Lombardi Trophy. "It's no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with, with my teammates. And you looked around this stadium and ... Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!"

Standing tall in the middle of a defence that survived a frenzied comeback by Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers, Lewis put a lovely bow on his 17th NFL season by earning his second Super Bowl ring -- 12 years after the first.

When Lewis first led Baltimore to Super Bowl glory, he was a 25-year-old at the height of his game. A terror in the middle of the best defence in the league, Lewis was voted MVP after the Ravens beat the New York Giants 34-7 to earn their first championship.

On Sunday night, Lewis and his defence played a supporting role to Joe Flacco and the offence.

The 37-year-old Lewis had only two solo tackles through the first three quarters and sometimes struggled to cover receivers venturing into his area. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught a 19-yarder on San Francisco's second series, and tight end Vernon Davis eluded Lewis twice before making second-quarter catches.

Lewis did, however, made two tackles during the 49ers' final drive. San Francisco had a fourth-and-goal from 5 when Lewis charged in on a blitz. He didn't get to Kaepernick, but the quarterback's pass sailed out of the end zone.

After amassing a team-high 44 tackles in Baltimore's first three playoff wins, Lewis was anything but exceptional against the 49ers. But the Ravens played like champions around him, and now Lewis can saunter into the sunset after putting his fingerprints on the Lombardi Trophy for a second time.

While working his way back from a torn right triceps that had kept him sidelined since Oct. 14, Lewis told high-ranking team officials that he was going to retire after this season. He shared the news with his teammates and the media on Jan. 2, saying Baltimore's post-season run would be his "last ride."

And what a journey it was.

After defeating Indianapolis at home to open the playoffs, the Ravens beat top-seeded Denver on the road and knocked off second-seeded New England. Then, underdogs again in the Super Bowl, Baltimore blew most of a 22-point lead in the second half before mounting one final defensive stand.

Lewis' old buddy, 34-year-old Ed Reed, contributed a first-half interception. Jacoby Jones scored two touchdowns, and after the second -- a 108-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter -- he saluted his retiring teammate with a rendition of the "squirrel" dance Lewis made famous.

Days earlier, Lewis was confronted about his use of deer antler spray in his effort to return from the triceps injury. He vehemently denied trying the banned substance, and that sideshow fizzled out quickly enough so that it was not a distraction on Sunday.

Lewis was the second draft pick in Ravens' history, following Jonathan Ogden in 1996. Ogden, who was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame on Saturday, waved to his former teammate during the pregame coin flip Sunday.

Perhaps one day, Ogden will extend the same greeting to Lewis in Canton, Ohio.

Ray Lewis (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: Septemeber 2nd - Alex Marvez

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 joins the show to discuss Jim Irsay, Michael Sam, and J.J Watt.

TSN 1050: Game Night: September 1 - Matt Florjancic

WKYC Cleveland's Matt Florjancic joins Andy McNamara and John Letherby on Game Night.

TSN 1050: Game Night: Joe Horrigan - July 30

Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of Communications Joe Horrigan joined Game Night with Jim Tatti & Andy McNamara to talk NFL Hall of Fame Weekend


More Podcasts

NFL on TSN and CTV

Sunday, September 14

New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CTV Winnipeg, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Montreal, CTV Atlantic)


Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener)


Seattle Seahawks at San Diego Chargers - 4:05pm et/1:05pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos - 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt (CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CITL)


New York Jets at Green Bay Packers - 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Montreal, CTV Winnipeg, CTV Saskatchewan, CTV Two Atlantic, CKPR)


Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers - 8:15pm et/5:15pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


Monday, September 15

Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts - 7pm et/4pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


NFL on TSN Broadcast Schedule

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television