Lewis, Ravens advance in playoffs by dumping Indy
BALTIMORE (AP) — After receiving rave reviews for its closing act in Baltimore, The Ray Lewis Retirement Tour heads to Denver for another show.
When Lewis and the Ravens go up against the top-seeded Broncos this Saturday, they won't receive as warm a reception as they did in their game against the Indianapolis Colts.
With Lewis leading the way, Baltimore eliminated the Colts with a 24-9 victory Sunday to set up a rematch against Denver in the second round of the AFC playoffs.
Following a 12-week layoff with a torn right biceps, Lewis led the Ravens with 13 tackles to spark an emotional win in the final home game of his spectacular 17-year career. The 37-year-old middle linebacker intends to retire after Baltimore completes its current playoff run.
If the Ravens have their way, Lewis won't peel off his No. 52 jersey for the final time until Baltimore walks off the field in New Orleans after the Super Bowl.
"We all have a goal in mind, and we're focused in on that goal," wide receiver Anquan Boldin said.
Lewis began his emotional farewell to Baltimore with his trademark dance during introductions, a scene that captivated the sellout crowd, his teammates and even a few of the Colts.
Around three hours later, Lewis lined up at fullback as Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco took a knee on the game's final play. Then Lewis danced some more before taking a lap around the field to pay homage to the thousands of fans who refused to leave until he did.
"We're all appreciative, grateful for the opportunity to be here and to witness this historic moment in sports," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "And, it wasn't just about one guy. Nobody understands it more than the one guy we're talking about. It was about a team. It was about a city, a fan base, about a great sport, about a great career. I'm just humbled to be a part of it."
The Ravens (11-6) absolutely refused to lose on Lewis' final stand in Baltimore. Boldin set a team record with 145 yards receiving, Flacco threw for 282 yards and two scores and the defense relentlessly harassed rookie quarterback Andrew Luck while holding the Colts (11-6) without a touchdown.
"We all wanted to play well for him and make sure it wasn't his last game," Boldin said.
For Lewis and the Ravens, it amounted to a solid performance on a near-perfect day.
"I knew how it started, but I never knew how it was going to end here in Baltimore," Lewis said. "For it to go the way it went today, I wouldn't change nothing."
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