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Ravens Lardarius Webb, Ray Lewis out for season

The Steelers' rivals have lost two key defensive players.

Nick Laham - Getty Images

Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis of the Ravens will miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear and a complete triceps tear, respectively.

One hates to see players miss time due to injury, regardless of who they are. Still, the injuries to Webb (the Ravens' top cornerback) and Lewis could have dramatic effects on a Ravens team that looked like it might have a cakewalk to an AFC North title. The Ravens' defense already hasn't exactly been dominant this year, and these losses could just make things worse for them. The Steelers' own battered offense will get plenty of chances to score on the Ravens, with matchups on November 18 and December 2, by which point they'll probably still be trying to make up ground, assuming they're still in the divisional race at all by then.

As for Lewis, who's 37, this could be the end of the road:

If the rumors are true and Lewis will not play again this season, I believe it will be his last. It is a horrible end to an amazing career and maybe Lewis can help this team from the sidelines for this season and beyond.

Lewis and the great early-'00s defenses he led were terrifying for just about everyone they faced, including, of course, the rival Steelers.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.