Ray-Ray’s retirement party has been postponed for a week.
And the Patriots advance scouting just added his Ravens dossier to their workload…
…because given the way the future Hall-of-Famer and the rest of Baltimore’s defense handled Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts’ offense, it might be on hold a little longer than that.
Lewis was his usual forceful presence, logging a game high 9 solo tackles in intimidating fashion as the Ravens advanced to the AFC Divisional Round by posting a hard-fought 24-9 victory over the Colts. They will travel to Denver to take on the #1 seeded Broncos next Saturday night.
The Colts’ offense was overwhelmed by the constant pressure of a Ravens’ defense that is healthy and fully staffed for the first time all season. Luck was under constant pressure, sacked three times and under duress on many of his 54 passing attempts.
Ravens’ linebacker Paul Kruger recorded 2 1/2 sacks and forced a Luck fumble that was recovered by Pernell McPhee, and the constant pressure on the rookie quarterback also paid off in the form of an interception by Cary Williams.
The Ravens have always been about defense with Lewis around, which is fortunate given the fact that their offense disappears for large chunks of games, so if Baltimore is to advance to the AFC Championship game against either New England or Houston, it’s going to take their best effort to take out Peyton Manning and his balanced attack next weekend.
Tough task? Absolutely. Impossible? Lewis doesn’t know the meaning of that word.
The Ravens are seeking a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game against the Patriots, a game they lost on on a missed chip-shot field goal attempt with just seconds left. To make it possible, the Patriots will have to handle Houston for the second time this season and Baltimore will have to avenge their crushing loss to the Broncos last month..
The Broncos beat the Ravens 34-17 three weeks ago in Baltimore, but did so against a depleted and banged up Ravens’ defense that gave up only 204 yards passing, but 163 rushing yards to Denver in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score would indicate…the Broncos racing to a four touchdown lead and coasted through the 4th quarter.
The Ravens offense did the defense no favors in that game, never getting the running game untracked as they fell behind early and was forced to the air, Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco contributing to the Broncos’ cause by throwing a pick 6 .
If Lewis’ is going to postpone his retirement party for at least another week, he’s going to need Flacco and the Ravens’ offense to step up and put points on the board against a stingy Broncos’ defense.
Lewis and the defense will do their part, as he – and they – have for the past 16 years.