Ray Lewis is out for the season due to a torn triceps, the Ravens announced today. This is a crushing blow to Baltimore, which was a field goal away from forcing overtime in the AFC title game last year, but has regressed defensively through six games this season without star pass rusher Terrell Suggs.
The window for the Ravens to win another Super Bowl with Lewis has all but closed. He’ll turn 38 in May, and the future Hall of Fame lock might call it a career due to this injury, many are already speculating.
The Ravens, even with Lewis, haven’t been able to stop the run this season (26th in the NFL, 136.5 ypg), which is shocking for a defense that has been in the top five against the rush each of the last six years.
The pass rush sans Suggs has been anemic – Baltimore has just 10 sacks in six games, which is near the bottom of the league.
The Ravens are 5-1, but can Flacco and Ray Rice and the offense carry this putrid defense to the postseason? They’ve had four of six games at home so far (4-0), and the road has been unkind so far (tough loss at Philly, a game they led late and got screwed by the replacement refs), and a sinfully ugly 9-6 triumph against punchless Kansas City.
The 2nd half schedule is unforgiving: at Pittsburgh, at San Diego, vs Pittsburgh (back to back to back), at Washington, vs. Denver, vs. NYG. If you want to get doomsday, there’s a chance Baltimore goes 1-5 or 0-6 in that stretch.
[UPDATE: Had not seen the Lardarius Webb confirmation but several commenters noted he is officially out for the season with a torn ACL. That’s two starters – All Pro caliber starters – gone for the season.]