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Ray Lewis' retirement plans won't change with 2013 AFC Championship game looming

Even with the playoff success, the Ravens' defensive leader won't be tempted to come back next season.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Lewis has stated that this will be his final season, and that isn't going to change no matter what happens in Baltimore's current playoff run, according to CSN Baltimore. Lewis is still producing in his 17th season, recording 17 tackles in the Ravens' overtime win over the Denver Broncos last Saturday. Still, Lewis says this retirement is about more than just the field:

"I never slowed down to really think about, ‘Oh, will you come back?' Nah, I can't come back," Lewis said. "My kids are calling for Daddy. It's a great reward to see the sacrifice my babies have made for me, and it's time that I sacrifice for them."

Lewis and his teammates are facing the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game for the second-straight year, and this time they are looking to avenge the loss a year ago, where Baltimore was a dropped pass away from winning and a missed field goal away from heading into overtime.

The Ravens struggled to end the year, but they have turned it on once the playoffs have started. Playing for Lewis is no doubt providing some motivation, or is at least allowing the team to play up to its potential. If they can keep up their level of play on Sunday, they'd be one win away from giving their leader the perfect send-off.