Emotions to play up in Colts-Ravens Wild card playoffs
The Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced last week his decision to retire after playing 17-seasons in for his only team in the NFL. Ray Lewis’s decision came with the desire to spend more time with his family, while paving the way and giving the ultimate focus to aspiring NFL player, his oldest son Ray III, who will play as tailback for Lewis’ alma matter the University of Miami next season.
But a certainty clings in the air that as Ray Lewis prepares for his final home game, the retiring player will strive to pay back his debut to the city of Baltimore with a memorable performance.
“I give them everything I’ve got. That’s one thing I shared with (the team): ‘I am going to give you everything that I’ve got, because this is our last one,’” said Ray Lewis. “And wherever it ends, it ends. But I didn’t come back for it to end in the first round.”
It’s still unknown how much Ray Lewis will play Sunday while sporting a cast on his injured arm, but 13-time Pro Bowler intends to make his presence felt, whether impacting the defensive game or infusing a lot of passion from the sidelines.
“That moment to walk out of that tunnel Sunday, every, every, every person that was a Ravens fan — 1996 and to this day — we will all enjoy that moment,” said Ray Lewis. “I can tell you it will probably be one of the glorious moments of my life.”
With the sudden burst of emotions and drama in the picture, the Baltimore Ravens also intend to make the playoffs extra special, vowing to send Ray Lewis home with another Super Bowl title. There’s an added sense of urgency in this quest as a better part of the Baltimore Ravens team that came within a Billy Cundiff field goal of forcing overtime in the AFC title game against the New England Patriots last season looks to be dismantled. Ray Lewis is retiring; and there are also rumors of Baltimore Ravens safety and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed heading on a similar route. The 30-year-old Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs had struggled with injuries throughout the season, while leading receiver Anquan Boldin who will be crossing over 32 can’t be expected for long to maintain his game at the highest level.
We need to have some urgency,” said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who will become a free agent after the postseason, “and we definitely feel that sense of urgency that we need to go get it done this year.”
However, it will be a daunting task for the Baltimore Ravens, who crawled into the playoffs on a 1-4 record in their final five regular season games, and were plagued by injuries, especially to the secondary. In comparison, the Indianapolis Colts rolled into the playoffs winning five of their last six games behind one of NFL’s most talented rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. He will be counting on Indianapolis Colts offensive weapons veteran Reggie Wayne and rookie T.Y. Hilton to crush the Baltimore Ravens.
The drama and emotions are expected to subside with the kickoff, but given both team’s commitment to their cause, Ray Lewis expects Sunday’s playoff game at M&T Bank stadium to be a feast for the fans’ eyes.
“I think we all get to enjoy what Sunday will feel like,” said Lewis, “and know that this will be the last time 52 plays in a uniform in Ravens Stadium.”