NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Ray Lewis will ride into retirement as a champion.
Baltimore's standout middle linebacker began his final night on the football field with a motivational speech to his teammates. He ended it looking upward into a shower of silver streamers and purple confetti after the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 Sunday night to win the Super Bowl.
Standing tall in the middle of a defense that survived a frenzied comeback by Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers, Lewis put a lovely bow on his 17th NFL season by earning his second Super Bowl ring -- 12 years after the first.
Lewis was the MVP of the Super Bowl when Baltimore beat the Giants.
On Sunday night, Lewis and his defense played a supporting role to Joe Flacco and the offense.