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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Importance of the Bye


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Let's ask Ray...


"Honestly, I haven't heard one conversation about the AFC North," Lewis told me Thursday. "It's the bye. It's the bye, and every team is wanting it. Pittsburgh is hoping we lose. New England has gotta hold on to it with Buffalo. So all the scenarios, they work hand-in-hand, and each team knows how important it is. It's rest. Everybody's limping."

Now, it's worth noting that, in Lewis' case, his only ring came as part of a team that went through the wild-card round, and the only "bye team" he's played on was bounced by the Colts, 15-6, in its first playoff game in 2006. Even with that in mind, the future Hall of Famer doesn't waver.


"It's huge," Lewis said. "I mean, it didn't work out. You give one of the greatest quarterbacks five field goals, and still lose? … I just trust God that it was their year. But to have that, to have that type of rest, we know how we felt on defense, we knew how we were going to play. That's the kind of thing I'm trying to emphasize to these guys. They will never know how big that week is, to sit home and watch wild-card weekend, and wait for somebody and say, 'Y'all gotta come to Baltimore.' That's a special feeling."


To that, Lewis says, "The AFC North is just a bonus. It comes along with it." Remember, he's the only one in the Ravens locker room left from the 2000 team. At 36, his only goal is to get back there. Ed Reed, at 33, still is looking for his first title. Similarly, he told me his goal is singular, and this just makes attaining it a little easier.

"You always find yourself having to go on the road to play somebody else. Instead of doing that, you can make people come to Baltimore," Lewis said. "Let's try that. We've been in the playoffs the last four years. Let's make somebody come to Baltimore. And let's see what our odds are then."





I really believe this Ravens team is going to go "All Out" Sunday...mano-y-mano for 60 minutes.

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