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Those tears will not be tears of joy when Super Bowl XLVII, and Ray Lewis' career, come to an end.
Unlike Anna Burns Welker, I think that Ray Lewis' final season and overall story of redemption are highly inspirational stories. To see the future Hall of Famer overcome personal adversity and return from a devastating injury in his 17th and final season and get one more shot at a Super Bowl ring is a terrific story.
Unfortunately, there will be no storybook ending for Reverend Ray and the Baltimore Ravens.
Watching Baltimore's defense do a complete 180 during the playoffs has been just as important to their surprising run as the exceptional play of quarterback Joe Flacco. However, Colin Kaepernick presents a challenge for this aging group that Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady could not provide.
Aside from that, Flacco will face the most physical defense that he's had to face all season, and the extra week of rest between games will make the two Smiths, Justin and Aldon, that much fresher come game day. Ultimately the 49ers will prove to be too much for the Ravens to handle.
Ray Lewis has nothing to be ashamed of, and this 2012 season has to have gone better than even he reasonably expected. But destiny is a cruel and fickle thing, so Lewis will have to settle for an AFC Championship.
49ers 24, Ravens 20.