Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/16/14
FOXBORO, Mass. — The last ride isn’t over just yet. The retirement clock on Route 93 in Boston may have run out, but Ray Lewis’ retirement tour was extended Sunday night after he and the Ravens defeated the Patriots 28-13 at Gillette Stadium. The victory couldn’t have been more perfect, as the Ravens made up for for last year’s shortcomings and finally overcame their woes in the AFC Championship Game, where they’ve lost twice in the past five years. Lewis wasn’t remorseful or angry at the way last season ended. Instead, he justified the defeat as “part of God’s plan.” Sunday ended up vindicating that sentiment. “That moment, that conversation with my team [last season], I was just telling them that God doesn’t make mistakes,” Lewis said during his postgame news conference. “He’s never made one mistake. In two weeks, somebody else will feel the way we felt last year. But we ran our course. Last year we ran our course. “There was no way that he was going to bring us back here twice to feel the same feeling. He had a real plan for us the whole year.” The plan wasn’t exactly clear all along, as the Ravens watched player after player suffer physically, mentally or emotionally this season, but Lewis and his teammates withstood throughout. Terrell Suggs ruptured his Achilles in the offseason. Torrey Smith endured the tragic death of his younger brother. Lewis tore a triceps muscle, and Ed Reed continues to play with a partially torn labrum. There were plenty of other bumps, bruises and cuts along the way, but the Ravens endured and kept their focus on the ultimate goal. So while the win over the Patriots exacted some revenge for Baltimore, it also proved Baltimore’s mettle and strength to persevere through adversity and achieve greatness. Now, the Ravens have gone beyond last season’s final test and are sending Lewis, who remains on the cusp of his last ride, to his second Super Bowl. “And for me to come out and say that this is my last ride and for me now to be headed back to the Super Bowl, for the possibility of me possibly winning a second ring, how else do you cap off a career?” Lewis said. “How else do you honor your fans and give them everything that they cheer for? The last ride, I can only tell you I’m along for the ride.” Lewis’ final game was not inside the confines of Gillette Stadium, and he didn’t fall to the same fate that he and the Ravens were forced to endure last season. This time, they were the ones celebrating in the postgame locker room, and they were the ones presented with the Lamar Hunt Trophy. But that’s not how this fairytale is meant to end. After one of the all-time great careers in NFL history, Lewis has the chance to do what few legends have done before. He can leave the game a champion and walk out the door for the final time with his lasting memory a picture of him hoisting that Lombardi Trophy. He’s done it once before, but this time would be far sweeter. Lewis’ final act shouldn’t be riddled in sorrow and regret. Rather, it should be one to remember and cherish. So, in two weeks’ time, when Lewis is finally saddled up for his final game, he should be able to ride victorious into the sunset one last time. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.