The Baltimore Ravens are still licking their wounds after letting a trip to the Super Bowl slip through their fingers against the New England Patriots on Sunday. With the Ravens making two big mistakes late in the game against the Patriots with a dropped touchdown pass by Lee Evans (which could’ve won the game) and a missed chip shot of a field goal by kicker Billy Cundiff, Baltimore was crushed by coming that close to a Super Bowl appearance and missing it due to unfortunate mistakes.

The big question after the 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots for the Baltimore Ravens was whether or not veteran perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis would return. With Lewis not getting any younger at 36-years-old (37 before next season), the consensus has been that he will hang them up sooner rather than later, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for the future Hall-of-Famer as he wants to come back for at least one more season with the Baltimore Ravens.

As for talks of a decline in play for Lewis, those talks can be put to rest as the superstar linebacker recorded 12 tackles against the Patriots on Sunday and showed that he still has something left in the tank. With the Baltimore Ravens being one of the league’s elite teams and seemingly getting better and better with every passing season, it is hard to blame Ray Lewis for coming back for another season as this team’s chances of competing for a Super Bowl title next season are very good to say the least.

This season the Baltimore Ravens proved that they are ready to take the next step under head coach John Harbaugh with a 12-4 regular season record and an AFC North division title. Not only were the Ravens dominant through the majority of the NFL regular season, but they dominated their arch division rivals and defending AFC champions in the Pittsburgh Steelers with two convincing wins.

That success alone is enough to merit the return of Ray Lewis as long as he can stay healthy. With four games missed by the perennial Pro Bowl linebacker, Lewis realized he isn’t made of a steal and will have to retire at some point in the near future. Baltimore still seems to back their face of the franchise as the Ravens are willing to stick with their superstar linebacker next season.

If the Baltimore Ravens do fall short of the Super Bowl once again next season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see both safety Ed Reed and linebacker Ray Lewis call it quits. It is still way too early to anticipate moves being made by the Ravens to improve this football team, but with as good as they looked in the NFL playoffs this team could stand pat with minor moves being made before next season.

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