The Baltimore Ravens pulled off an amazing feat during the divisional round of the NFL playoffs last weekend by taking down the red-hot Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Not only were the Ravens playing a with a never-say-die attitude and swagger that has been seldom seen by this team all season long, but they beat arguably the best all-around team in the league that was playing on their home field while riding a 11-game winning streak.
The playoff matchup against the Ravens was thought to be only a formality for Peyton Manning’s Broncos with Denver having beaten Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium in convincing fashion only a few weeks earlier. Denver appeared to be the favorites to go the distance in the playoffs with the team playing exceptionally well, but in the end it was Ray Lewis and company that were able to advance to the AFC Championship game for the second consecutive following the double overtime thriller in the Mile High City.
Leading up to the showdown with the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, Lewis was asked if he has changed his tune on retiring from the NFL once the season is over for the Ravens. Lewis didn’t hesitate to say the following via J. Michael of CSNBaltimore.com:
“I never slowed down to really think about, ‘Oh, will you come back?’ Nah, I can’t come back,” Lewis said. “My kids are calling for Daddy. It’s a great reward to see the sacrifice my babies have made for me, and it’s time that I sacrifice for them.”
Apparently, Lewis is more than ready to make the transition to family-mode following the playoffs whether or not the Ravens come out on top as Super Bowl champions.
At 37-years old and with his body starting to breakdown, Lewis deciding to call it a career after 17 seasons in the NFL makes perfect sense. Lewis has complied all the individual accolades with two Defensive Player of the Year awards and won a Super Bowl title earlier in his career that there really is nothing left to prove.
If the Ravens are able to get the best of the Patriots and beat either the San Francisco 49ers or Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl it will be a storybook ending for Lewis, but if not, the veteran linebacker seems content retiring regardless in order to focus on life outside of football.