USA TODAY Sports
For the legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker, ending his career with a goal-line stand is the most fitting way to go out on top.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis may not have had one of his better games in Super Bowl XLVII. His seven combination tackles were his lowest total of the four post season games he played. At the same time, his four game playoff total of 51 tackles was 19 more than any other player, ironically, a tie between teammates Dannell Ellerbe and Corey Graham,who both had 32 tackles.
However, for whatever reason, Ray was matched up in pass coverage a lot with San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who was just too fast for Lewis to keep up with. Davis finished with six receptions for 104 yards, some of them on crossing patterns in front of Lewis. Tobe fair, though, Davis was a match-up nightmare all night for the Ravens and he also caught strong safety Bernard Pollard out of position as well.
As the clock ticked down, the 49ers found themselves inside the ten-yard line witha chance to score a touchdown and turn a 22-point deficit into a possible victory. Four times they tried to score and all four times the Ravens defense denied them those last few precious yards that would have totally changed the outcome of the game and the legacy of Ray Lewis.
It was a fitting ending for Ray's career, ensuring the Ravens victory that came only a minute or so later. Fora guy who has been through so much, even in this final season, going from what was thought to be a season-ending injury, to holding the Lombardi Trophy aloft in the post-game celebration.
Even Ray himself called it the best goal-line stand of his NFL career. With everything that has happened over the season and his career, to go out on top as a champion, much less in the manner his final plays panned out, is the best way to cap what might be the greatest career of any linebacker and certainly the greatest player ever to wear a Baltimore Ravens uniform.