Ray Lewis was able to ride off into the sunset as a Super Bowl champion, but he did not play well on Sunday. In fact, one of Lewis’s former Ravens teammates thinks Lewis shouldn’t even keep his Super Bowl game check.
Former Ravens defensive end Trevor Pryce, who played with Lewis for five seasons, thinks Lewis had one of his worst games in his last game.
“Half of his playoff check should go to Dannell Ellerbe for making that last play on that last fade route,” Pryce told Jim Rome. “The other half to Greg Roman, the 49ers’ offensive coordinator.”
The 49ers had a lot of success when going directly at Lewis, particularly when they were able to send tight end Vernon Davis over the middle: Lewis chasing Davis was a mismatch, and if Roman had it to do over again, he’d probably call even more passes to Davis than he did on Sunday, when Colin Kaepernick threw eight passes in Davis’s direction, of which Davis caught six for 104 yards.
Pryce believes the pressure of playing in his final game on the sport’s biggest stage got to Lewis.
“I think he played with a case of the nerves. I think he had the yips. I really do,” said Pryce. “He had it bad; he didn’t look like himself, even his new self. Forget his old self, that guy’s gone, that guy’s named Patrick Willis. But even the guy he was last week, he wasn’t that guy. He had a case of it bad, badly. It was almost like he was just hoping let’s get this over with.”
If the 49ers had completed their comeback and beaten the Ravens, one of the major stories this week would be the bad game that Lewis had. Because the Ravens won, most people are overlooking the way Lewis played. But Pryce is right: Lewis had a bad game.