Ray Lewis’ last ride has at least 1 more stopBy ARNIE STAPLETON
the associated press | January 14,2013AP PHOTO
In a photo taken with a fisheye lens, Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis celebrates after the Ravens beat the Denver Broncos 38-35 in overtime of an AFC divisional playoff NFL game Saturday in Denver.DENVER — Deflated and nearly defeated, Ray Lewis slumped on the sideline.
The final seconds of his brilliant career were slipping away, just like Demaryius Thomas had escaped his grasp minutes earlier.
Thomas’ go-ahead touchdown gave Denver a 35-28 lead and now the Ravens were out of timeouts, deep in their territory. Under a minute to go, the “last ride” about to make its final stop.
Joe Flacco was buying time in the pocket, about to throw the ball away and bring up fourth down at his 30.
Peyton Manning was about to beat Baltimore for a 10th straight time, and Lewis was about to call it a career.
Then Lewis spotted Jacoby Jones sprinting past him along the Baltimore sideline. More importantly, so did Flacco, who lofted a high-arcing pass into both double coverage and the frigid Denver night.
Safety Rahim Moore leaped for the interception, only he was a tad too early and a bit too shallow.
The football settled into Jones’ arms and he pranced into the end zone, his 70-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left tying the game.
Baltimore would win on Justin Tucker’s field goal in the second overtime.
Lewis’ retirement party will wait for another day.
“Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. He grew up today,” Lewis said of Flacco. “He grew up today and in the tunnel I told him, `You’re the general now. Lead us to a victory. You lead us today. I’m just here to facilitate things.’
“And to look in his eyes, he has something different about him today and I just wanted to encourage him. To watch what he did today is probably one of the greatest things I’ll always sit back and remember.”
Reminiscing can wait for at least another week.
Lewis gets to play again, against either at Houston or New England in the AFC championship game.
Flacco was the hero, but Lewis wasn’t a bystander.
He was right in the middle of things, providing his usual unyielding leadership.
Lewis made 17 tackles one week after he led the Ravens with 13 stops against Indianapolis while playing for the first time in three months after being sidelined with a torn right triceps.
“We wanted to get this win for Ray and I was going to do everything I could possibly do to get this win,” said cornerback Corey Graham.
He did just that, picking off Manning twice, taking the first one back for a touchdown and setting up Tucker’s winner in the game’s 77th minute with his second interception.MORE IN Wire SportsSAN FRANCISCO — Lee Westwood came up with two big shots and took down Masters champion Jordan... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.