Baltimore Ravens: Ranking the best Ray Lewis dances
4. Dance before SNF vs. Jets (2011)
In week 4 of the 2011 season, the Ravens welcomed Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets to town for a tilt on Sunday Night Football. It marked a special evening with Rex Ryan’s first return to M&T Bank Stadium since becoming the Jets’ head coach in 2009 after coaching 10 seasons in Baltimore as an assistant head coach (2008), defensive coordinator (2005-2008) and defensive line coach (1999-2004).
Donning the all-black uniform under pink lights for breast cancer awareness, Lewis stormed out of the tunnel, extending his arms fully outward before delivering yet another fantastic squirrel dance. Any Ray Lewis dance will stick with someone forever, but there’s something about night games that adds an extra flare to the spectacle.
The Ravens went on to defeat the Jets 34-17, with two touchdowns scored on defense (Lardarius Webb 73-yard pick-six and Jameel McClain fumble recovery in end zone) and another on special teams – a 26-yard fumble return by Jarret Johnson during a kickoff.
3. Dance before 2011 Divisional Playoff vs. Texans
In 2011 the Ravens (12-4) clinched a first-round bye and a home playoff game for the first time in five seasons. The production crew made a nice video package to the tune of “Coming Home” by Diddy. The Ravens made the playoffs the previous three seasons, but failed to win the division. Accomplishing that feat was a big deal, especially after the Ravens went unbeaten at home in the regular season.
The Ravens introduced their starting offense before the divisional game against the Texans, but also individually introduced the Pro Bowlers, a group that included Lewis, Ed Reed, and 2011 Defensive Player of the Year, Terrell Suggs.
The Ravens would advance to the AFC Championship with a 20-13 win over Houston. It marked the team’s first playoff win in 10 years and Baltimore’s first home playoff win since the 2000 Super Bowl run. Despite being sacked twice and only throwing for 176 yards, Joe Flacco connected for two touchdown passes, and Billy Cundiff booted two field goals from 48 and 44 yards. The Ravens defense caught three interceptions from inexperienced quarterback T.J. Yates, including two by Webb.
2. Dance before SNF vs. Patriots (2012)
The Ravens lost the 2011 AFC Championship to the New England Patriots in heartbreaking fashion, but got their revenge when they went 2-0 against the Patriots in 2012. The first matchup came during week 3 in Baltimore, again on Sunday Night Football.
Tons of emotion surrounded this particular game. Second-year wide receiver Torrey Smith played just hours after learning that his brother had been killed in an accident. Smith played his heart out, catching six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Baltimore edged New England 31-30 by the foot of Justin Tucker, who booted a 27-yard field goal as time expired.
In the game, Lewis tied Cary Williams with 10 tackles, which led the team.