Thursday, September 27, 2012
J. Lewis going into Ravens' Ring of Honor
By Jamison Hensley
Jamal Lewis will be honored at halftime Thursday night when the running back's two former teams play each other.
But Lewis will always be remembered as a Raven, and is rightfully becoming the sixth Ravens player to enter the team's Ring of Honor.
His biggest personal achievements were the 2,066 yards rushing in 2003 (second all-time in the NFL) and the then-record 295 yards in September 2003 (which happened to come against the Browns).
Still, Lewis' impact can be best measured by his first two seasons in the NFL. The Ravens won a Super Bowl because of Lewis. They failed to repeat because they didn't have him.
There's no question the Ravens captured their first NFL title in 2000 on the strength of their record-setting defense. The offense, however, was driven by Lewis. During the Ravens' 11-game winning streak, Lewis accounted for 42 percent of the offense and gained 102 yards in the Super Bowl victory against the Giants.
The next season, Lewis went down with a season-ending knee injury in training camp and the Ravens were never the same. Baltimore advanced to the divisional playoffs that season, but it couldn't produce the same consistent ground game with Terry Allen.
Lewis left the Ravens as the team's all-time leading rusher in 2007, when he signed with the Browns as a free agent. But Lewis considers himself a Raven.
"All my memories are pretty much here,” Lewis said. "This is kind of where I grew up. … This was like home for me."