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  1. #1
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    Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays



    Ray Lewis was consistently isolated in the short and intermediate passing game and surrendered 4 completions for 73 yards, including 46 after the catch. He didn’t play the run well and had a game that, from an individual standpoint, was unrepresentative of his legendary career. However, on the final 3-play stand, he made some contributions that might have gone unnoticed.

    •On 2nd and 5 (Q4, 2:00) Lewis jammed Vernon Davis who appeared to be Kaepernick’s primary read. He slid back to pass him to Reed, and then ran to the right sideline to set up containment for the rolling Kaepernick, but the ball had been released, incomplete.

    •On 3rd and 5 (Q4, 1:55) Lewis realigned Pollard to the offensive right side where he was able to pick up Walker. Lewis himself moved to cover Frank Gore, who would have otherwise been the 4th receiver going out right through a cleared out zone. The Ravens effectively accounted for all 4 receivers and Jimmy Smith delivered the PD.

    •On 4th and 5 (Q4, 1:50) Lewis crept to the line showing an A-gap blitz between LG Iupati and C Goodwin. He rushed inside on Iupati while Suggs rushed straight ahead at the left tackle Staley. Ellerbe was left free to blitz untouched between Staley and Iupati for the game-winning pressure, but he had help from his veteran friends.

    For more on the Ravens defensive effort including a description of the 11 plays that won the Super Bowl, see:

    http://russellstreetreport.com/super...in-the-clutch/

    If you want a breakdown of Flacco's performance or to debate the most important play in Ravens' history, see:

    http://russellstreetreport.com/films...er-bowl-xlvii/





  2. #2
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    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    Ray got eaten alive in the 1st half, but I think he showed up well in the 2nd half.

    Like Ed Reed, a lot of his value is his football knowledge. He can read a QB well, adjust a D, time a blitz, etc.

    The 2012 Ray Lewis will be easy to replace from a skill standpoint, but it may be a LONG time before we have someone like Ray who can "QB" a defense.
    .
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    FOR REED, BIRK, BOLDIN, RAY, ART, TEVIN, OJ, and BALTIMORE...
    SUPER BOWL 47 CHAMPION RAVENS!!!!!!

    "We don't make it easy, but that's the way the city of Baltimore is, and that's the way we are. We did this for them back home." - Joe Flacco, Super Bowl 47 MVP


    Call me a Special Teams coach again. I dare you! I double dare you, MFer!




  3. #3
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    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    Film--
    Thanks for the post and links.

    I agree that last Sunday, Lewis did not look the (almost literal) beast that he was in his first SB appearance. OTOH, and I don't know if this was my imagination or what, but I felt like I kept seeing him pointing during plays when Kap was trying to either call signals on the coach's initial called play, or audible out into something else. It appeared to me like Lewis was seeing what the Niners were going to do and then communicating that to the Ravens defenders. I mentioned to the folks with whom I was watching that I thought he was causing some issues for the SF offense in terms of adjusting the Ravens defense for what he saw coming. It also appeared that Kap was not in a good rhythm, perhaps partly because of that. Any idea if Lewis WAS doing so, or was I just hallucinating?




  4. #4
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    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    They knew Kaep's tendencies. When he passed, he went to Crabtree first, then Davis then Moss. He definitely forced some passes on that last possession.




  5. #5
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    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    paint-
    Yeah, the D looked well-prepped, but I thought I kept seeing Kaep come to the line and call something or motion to one side or another, and quite often Lewis would suddenly "counter-point" and motion in response, which then seemed like Kaep almost stopped as if thinking, "Shit! Lewis knows what play we're running, I need to audible to something else."

    Might be my imagination, but I've been telling folks down here this week who had no dog in the hunt that if that power outage doesn't occur, Kaep doesn't reclaim his cool for the balance of the game, and the final difference in score would have been more like Ravens by 20 or so. To a person, nobody felt differently.




  6. #6

    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    Nearly every linebacker we've put on the field next to Ray has performed well. Just like most corner backs and safeties have done well when next to Reed. It's going to be interesting to see next year how things change if both guys aren't on the field.




  7. #7
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    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    R-lytics--
    Agreed, I will be very interested to watch how the defense adjusts in the next several seasons to the idea of not having Lewis at all, with no "Well, he's injured, but he'll be back for the playoffs" kinda mentality. Obviously Lewis was a very special on-field leader in terms of making the sum of the parts greater than the whole, and IMO that provided a lot of the foundation for how those guys were able to perform. Like Film points out, Lewis just doesn't have the same capabilities anymore as far as his physical prowess is concerned, but he did stuff that basically made up for it. I hope some of the other young Turks on the team can step up and provide the leadership and example for the team.




  8. #8

    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    As much as I love Ray, I'm to an extent sort of happy that he's gone. The media circus will finally be over. And its undeniable that Ray was playing almost sub-par at times during the season, noticeable most in coverage situations. This also gives other players a chance to step up. It's interesting to note that one of our MLB positions has essentially been locked up for 17 years. That's a loooong time.

    Emotionally, I can see how losing Lewis will be a hit. However, physically, I think it's time for the next man to take his place as the new great MLB for the Ravens.




  9. #9
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    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    Quote Originally Posted by CptJesus View Post
    As much as I love Ray, I'm to an extent sort of happy that he's gone. The media circus will finally be over. And its undeniable that Ray was playing almost sub-par at times during the season, noticeable most in coverage situations. This also gives other players a chance to step up. It's interesting to note that one of our MLB positions has essentially been locked up for 17 years. That's a loooong time.

    Emotionally, I can see how losing Lewis will be a hit. However, physically, I think it's time for the next man to take his place as the new great MLB for the Ravens.
    I agree. But if the Ravens come out of the gate 1-2 and the defense had anything to do with it, the panic will set in and the cries about Ray and his value will be non-stop.

    I hope everyone will stay calm during the transition period. Just sayin'.
    I want a Flacco jersey! Johnny Bench wore #5




  10. #10
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    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenScallywag View Post
    Ray got eaten alive in the 1st half, but I think he showed up well in the 2nd half.

    Like Ed Reed, a lot of his value is his football knowledge. He can read a QB well, adjust a D, time a blitz, etc.

    The 2012 Ray Lewis will be easy to replace from a skill standpoint, but it may be a LONG time before we have someone like Ray who can "QB" a defense.
    This is very true. However, Ed Reed, while not as good as he was still had a very good game and I felt, keep the secondary together with both his play and his overall football knowledge.




  11. #11

    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    Ray's game preparation and football IQ will be a huge loss next year. He knows what's coming more than not, even if he doesnt have the legs to play at the level he expects from himself. He is a magical guy, probably the "smartest" defensive player I've ever seen. That will be really missed more than we realize.




  12. #12

    Re: Ray's Last Stand-- Less Noticed Contributions from His Last 3 Plays

    Quote Originally Posted by CptJesus View Post
    As much as I love Ray, I'm to an extent sort of happy that he's gone. The media circus will finally be over. And its undeniable that Ray was playing almost sub-par at times during the season, noticeable most in coverage situations. This also gives other players a chance to step up. It's interesting to note that one of our MLB positions has essentially been locked up for 17 years. That's a loooong time.

    Emotionally, I can see how losing Lewis will be a hit. However, physically, I think it's time for the next man to take his place as the new great MLB for the Ravens.
    The problem being, you are assuming the next man up will be great. You realize that there is no way in hell that the next guy will be anywhere near the player Ray has been. He won't be the insanely prepared film guy that Ray was. No matter what, his play will be sub-par of what we have all been accustomed to for the last decade and a half.

    The Ravens are drafting 32nd and I dont see them finding a guy to replace Ray at that spot. Because of the new rules, you will never see another MLB/ILB like Ray. SB47 was the true nd of an era.




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