Lewis' name should be with Lawrence Taylor, Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary as one of the best linebackers to ever play.
Lewis has played 17 NFL seasons, but if there is one thing his last game - against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 14 - suggested was that Ray-Ray was just about done. No shame in that, considering he is a 37-year-old man. He may be as inspiring as any NFL player in recent memory, but on the field the body could no longer do what the mind wanted. It happens.
Lewis suffered a torn triceps injury against the Cowboys that afternoon that forced him to miss the remainder of the regular season. He plans to play against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC playoff game this weekend.
What we saw against the Cowboys that day was that he could still make tackles, but he was not contributing the types of plays he was known for - sacks, tackles for a loss, forcing fumbles. The Ray Lewis impact was gone.
Lewis had 14 tackles against the Cowboys that day; the Cowboys, however, ran for 227 yards as both DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones each had over 90 yards.
In the end, Ray Lewis was a "victim" of the absurdly high standards he set over his career.