Given all the glorious memories, the individual accolades, the passion he has exuded, and his significance to his team, his city and the game he has sacrificed his body and long-term health for since joining the
This is a living legend we are talking about -- a linebacker whose bust should have been bronzed by now.
But as far as the team’s
Both players are lost for the season, so it's not like the Ravens get to choose one over the other. And both are substantial losses to a toothless defense that already ranks 26th against the run and 22nd against the pass (though they are 11th in scoring defense).
But in terms of performance, their career arcs had already intersected. With Lewis perhaps past the twilight of a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame career, Webb’s arc was skyrocketing. He hadn’t been beat for a touchdown in nearly two years and opponents had started to avoid him. The Ravens locked him up with a five-year, $50 million contract extension. And with national media hype building, he would have made the
In five full games this season plus the limited snaps before he tore his ACL during the first quarter of Sunday's 31-29 win over the
For comparison sake, let’s look at some of his fellow top-flight cornerbacks.
When it comes to cornerbacks who have played at least 75 percent of their team's defensive snaps, Webb ranked fifth in percentage of targets completed (45.8 percent) and he ranked fourth in opponent quarterback rating (42.2, which is nearly 25 points lower than
Webb was also a plus tackler, a threat to blitz and a dangerous returner, though the Ravens wisely limited his opportunities there.
Considering how often teams throw the ball -- much more than the days when Lewis was twice the
It’s impossible to quantify the intangibles that Lewis brought to the table -- his leadership, his experience and his near-flawless football mind that usually put the Baltimore defense in the right position before the snap of the ball, much like what quarterbacks