Peyton Manning just celebrated his 46th birthday during a busy moment in his life. This offseason, the quarterback earned a multi-season extension on his Manningcast show and is in the conversation to become the next owner of the Denver Broncos. However, according to the quarterback, neither of these things held a candle to when Ray Lewis decided to retire.
According to Darren Rovell, Manning said these words himself:
"When Ray Lewis retired, it was the best day of my life."
Additionally, according to NFL Rumors, Manning told a story about what it was like to play against the linebacker as a quarterback:
“Every time Baltimore Ravens [linebacker] Ray Lewis hit me, he’d drive me down into the ground and then he’d use me to help himself get up and he’d whisper in my ear, ‘I’ll be back in a couple minutes, you punk.’”
Ray Lewis' greatest victory over Peyton Manning
Ray Lewis' most notable achievement came in his final game when the Baltimore Ravens defeated Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. However, on the path to the game, Lewis also enjoyed his best win over one of the greatest quarterbacks.
The game occurred in the divisional round of the 2012-2013 playoffs. Many picked the Denver Broncos to reach the Super Bowl that year after a 13-3 regular season. The game took place in Denver, but the Ravens proved that home-field advantage doesn't mean an automatic victory.
Both teams played hard, matching each other in the box score per quarter. However, the Broncos had the lead and just needed to make a stop in the final few plays of the game. Joe Flacco had other plans. Flacco unloaded a deep hail mary pass to his receiver over the head of Rahim Moore and into the arms of Jacoby Jones.
Jones sprinted to the endzone and sent the game to overtime at 35-35.
Both teams stalled in the first overtime, and an impossibly rare second overtime took place. The first team to blink would lose. Unfortunately for Denver, the Broncos did it first, allowing then-rookie Justin Tucker to kick the game-winning kick. The Broncos were sent home, and the Ravens continued. In the game, Lewis had a whopping 17 combined tackles.
According to Pro Football Reference, Lewis retired at 37 years old after 228 games played, 31 interceptions, and more than 2000 total tackles.