User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Ray Lewis ends brilliant career with title

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

Advertisement
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 defense 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 defense 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 defense played a supporting role to Joe Flacco and the offense.

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 postseason 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.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
David: Total Talk - Week 14
Rogers: Pick Six - Week 14
Roberts: Vegas Money Moves - Week 14
Akins: Gridiron Angles - Week 14
Roberts: SNF - Cowboys at Giants
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 14
Sportsbook.ag: 'Boys look for revenge
Sportsbook.ag: Best Bets - Week 14
BetOnline.ag: Browns facing NFL infamy
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
11-5 L4 Sundays, +1,440 TY
3-0 Sunday, 7-2 Guarantees TY
8-1 L3 Thurs., 17-6 L23 Totals
3-1 Sun., 12-4 G-Plays, 10-4 Totals
3-0 Week 13, 10-5 L15 G-Plays
20-8 L28 Totals, 26-13 L7 Sundays
11-4 L15 G-Plays, 30-16 L9 Sun.
2-0 Thurs., 7-3 Run, 10-5 Totals TY
4 Guaranteed Wins in a Row
12-5 L17 Totals, 27-16 L43 Picks
6-3 Last 9 NFL Selections
10-4 Record Last 4 Sundays
10-4 NFL Totals TY
2-0 Monday, 14-8 L22 Picks
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks - Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
2016 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Don Anthony + 1440
The Gold Sheet + 1079
Michael Black + 540
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 542
Andy Iskoe + 300
Scott Pritchard + 300
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Don Anthony 62 %
The Gold Sheet 57 %
Scott Pritchard 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Pritchard + 670
Brian Edwards + 606
Pat Hawkins + 596
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 816
Micah Roberts + 696
Antony Dinero + 679
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 1095
The Gold Sheet + 867
Paul Bovi + 427
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership