Ray Lewis rides off into the
sunset a champion ... again
 
By Johnny Hart
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis celebrates after his team defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday in New Orleans. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ESPN Denver
 
Fourth and goal. Fourth and the game. Fourth and a career, for Ray Lewis.
 
As they say, sports imitates life.
 
There may be no more better illustration than the Baltimore Ravens making a goal line stand with the game on the line, let alone Lewis’ curtain-call.
 
Fourth and a Super Bowl, if you will.
 
"How could it end any other way than that?" Lewis said. "And now I get to ride into the sunset with my second ring."
 
With just more than two minutes left in the game, the San Francisco running back rattled off a 33-yard run to the Ravens 7 yard line, down 34-29 and needing a touchdown to go ahead late.
 
But a LaMichael James short run and three incomplete passes from Collin Kaepernick at Michael Crabtree later, the Ravens pulled the improbable run to becoming the NFL champions.
 
"It's simple: When God is for you, who can be against you?" Lewis said. "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!"
 
Staggering into the playoffs, the Ravens rode the coattails of Lewis’ Jan. 2 retirement announcement to a win in the Hall of Famer’s last game in Baltimore against the Indianapolis Colt.
 
Then, a 9.5-point underdog, the Ravens stunned the Denver Broncos on a 70-yard prayer from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones to tie the divisional round game, winning in double-overtime on a field goal.
 
In the AFC Championship they were 9.5-point underdogs on the road at the New England Patriots.
 
The Ravens weren’t supposed to win the Super Bowl either. In the battle of the Harbaughs, Jim was supposed to take down big brother, John.
 
But it’s hard to stop a team of destiny, if you want to call it that.
 
All we know is that Lewis and the Ravens rode the emotional tide of his retirement, and the golden, Super Bowl MVP arm of Flacco (3 touchdowns on 274 yards), to the franchise’s second Super Bowl.
 
And Lewis rides off into the sunset at the top.

 

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