Ray Lewis - Page 15 - HAPPY ENDING

Ray Lewis
- Page 15
HAPPY ENDING
Lewis didn’t dominate his last game but helped Ravens win

By Katherine Fominykh
The Baltimore Sun


There was apower outage atSuperBowl XLVII, and not just when the Louisiana Superdome’s lights blacked out for 30 minutes shortly after halftime.

Ray Lewis’ last NFL game, a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, was not his best. He made seven tackles, his lowest total during the postseason run and two fewer than fellow Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

Lewis revealed in 2016 that he had retorn his triceps the night before the game. He spread his hits out over thegame, from when the Ravens offense was dominant to when it was under duress. Lewis made his veteran presence known early by stopping Frank Gore on third down on the 49ers’ first drive at San Francisco’s 18-yard line.

He assisted on two tackles in the second quarter, one that led to a turnover and the other that helped hold the 49ers to a 27-yard field goal by David Akers as the clock expired in the first half. Jacoby Jones opened the second half with a 108-yard kickoff return, giving the Ravens a 28-6 lead.

The Ravens had taken an early lead in the game, scoring a touchdown on their openingdriveandthenmakingit 21-3 in the second quarter on Joe Flacco’s 1-yard pass to Dennis Pitta and 56-yard strike to Jones.

They continued to dominate until a partial power outage suspended play for 34 minutes early in the second half. The delay seemed to sap the Ravens and energize the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, who connected with Michael Crabtree for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Gore scored on a 6-yard run and Akers added a field goal, and suddenly the 49erswere within five points.

Two fourth-quarter field goals by the Ravens’ Justin Tucker sandwiched a 15yard rushing touchdown by Kaepernick, setting up a furious final five minutes.

Lewis had two tackles during San Francisco’s last offensive drive. On fourth andgoal from the 5-yard line with just under two minutes remaining, Kaepernick was pressured and forced to throw an incomplete pass. Time wound down, and the Ravens had their second Super Bowl title.

Lewis wasn’t a major factor on the field during the game, but he knewwhat he had done to make purple, gold, silver and black confetti rain fromthe roof.

“People don’t realize what that city had with that team,” he said in 2018. “What I was able to be around, to help build, that was chemistry. That was being able to play with people that understood the entire culture of what being a Raven meant.

When you go through that big of a hit after 2012, you lost some of the strongest personalities in football. If you go back historically, remember the Chicago Bulls and when Michael Jordan left that city, the Bulls have never been back.”

kfominykh@baltsun.com
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