17 Oct 2012
Jason Lisk is right on the money here. Ray Lewis has played at a high level, close to the highest level among historical ILBs, and he's done it longer than almost anyone else. He's been slagged as "underrated" for years simply because he was a top ten player at his position instead of top three, and because if you put a microphone near him he will not shut up. At his peak, he was worth the hype. The 2000 Ravens were one of the best defenses ever (although not the best of the year by DVOA, surprisingly) but the only other player on that defense who comes close to Hall of Fame status is Rod Woodson -- who of course is already in the Hall of Fame but was 35 years old that season.
I will point out, however, that even if Ray Lewis doesn't make it back to become only the second player in NFL history to start at ILB at age 38, somebody probably will join Sam Mills in that club. London Fletcher never peaked as high as Lewis did, but he's still going strong.
129 comments, Last at 22 Oct 2012, 1:10pm by Anonymouser
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?