Ray Lewis out for 2012 season with triceps tear
Image Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Do you know who leads the Baltimore Ravens in tackles (57) through the first six weeks of the season? Ray Lewis. Do you know who the Ravens just lost for the remainder of the season with a triceps tear? Ray Lewis. And finally, do you know who CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco thinks the Ravens defense is better off without?

This one is less predictable, but believe it or not the answer again is ‘Ray Lewis’.

Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are, here’s Prisco’s explanation.

Let me start this out by saying I think Ray Lewis is the best middle linebacker ever. But let me also say this, something nobody else will say: The Ravens might be better off without Lewis. Yes, I said it. Lewis has been horrible for most of this season. He gets engulfed by linemen and doesn’t get off blocks. You never like to see a veteran like him go down, especially this late in his career, but a younger, faster player might be what the Ravens need now inside. Dannell Ellerbe and Albert McClellan will likely be the starters now. They haven’t exactly been playing great, either. The bigger hit to the Ravens’ defense is the loss of Lardarius Webb. He is their best cover player. Without him, they lack a premier cover player. That will show up without a pass rush — probably starting this week in Houston.

Keeping media members accountable for their predictions is something I take pride in, so let’s look back at some of Prisco’s other bold statements.

  1. Prisco thinks the Ravens will regret Ray Rice’s contract in three years – TBD
  2. Prisco thinks the Bengals will win the AFC North – Also TBD, they’re currently two games behind the Ravens and 1-2 in divisional play.
  3. Prisco thinks the Patriots will go 16-0 – Wrong.
  4. Now, Prisco thinks the Ravens will be better off without Ray Lewis. – Well I guess we’ll find out now, won’t we?