Super Bowl 2013: Why Inspiration Will Lead Baltimore Ravens to the Championship

Steven Slivka@@StevenSlivkaCorrespondent IIIJanuary 30, 2013

Ray Lewis is set to retire after Super Bowl XLVII.
Ray Lewis is set to retire after Super Bowl XLVII.USA TODAY Sports

If there was ever a time for Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to lose his mind, it's now.

Throughout his 17-year NFL career, Lewis has solidified himself as one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history.

Now, he is one win away from hoisting his second Lombardi Trophy.

Although he does not possess the quickness he once had as a young linebacker coming out of the University of Miami, he is still the nucleus to a team that feeds off his energy and charisma.

The game of football is changing. It has become a dual-threat quarterback league where track star receivers run deep routes down the sideline in the hope that defensive backs bite on the quarterback's ability to run.

However, defense still wins championships.

There's a reason the New England Patriots will be watching the Super Bowl from home.

Lewis has always been the inspirational leader the Ravens have loved, and now that he's set to retire at the end of the season, the team wants nothing more then to send him off with a ring.

Baltimore will have its hands full with another prominent defense in the San Francisco 49ers.

Despite a team full of defensive studs including Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and Navorro Bowman just to name a few, the 49ers defense fell off towards the end of the year after they surrendered 89 points in their final three games of the regular season.

They were also exposed in the NFC Championship game after they gave up the first 17 points of the game to the Atlanta Falcons.

San Fransisco was unable to generate any pass rush and it gave Matt Ryan all sorts of time to hit one of his many targets.

If the Ravens are able to protect Joe Flacco just the same, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta have the ability to do quite a bit of damage.

Not to mention the Ravens have one the most versatile running backs in the league in Ray Rice.

Baltimore is coming off one of its most impressive wins in franchise history after holding the high-flying Patriots offense to just 13 points in the AFC Championship game.

With the outstanding play of Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed and the emotionally-driven Lewis, this Ravens team should scare the pants off anyone who tries to take them on.

Lewis' inspiration and heart have been brought to a brand-new level in these playoffs. He made it pretty clear how much he loves football after his tearful breakdown during the national anthem against New England.

That's a guy you don't want to mess with.

Now, reports have surfaced that Lewis allegedly used performance enhancing drugs (via Yahoo Sports).

Lewis became upset with the claims and has dismissed them, as if he needed any other motive to play his heart out in the Super Bowl.

His team has rallied behind him, he's crying during the Star Spangled Banner and now he's been accused of taking PED's.

Lewis wants to win this game. Bad.