The Vikings-Ravens matchup this Sunday is a marquee NFL matchup so far this season because it features a pair of aggressive and nasty defenses as well as a pair of efficient, run-first offenses.
But the matchup is also significant from a historical perspective. It’s not every week that you see 2 players as decorated as QB Brett Favre and LB Ray Lewis going against each other. This matchup transcends that of 2 stars going head-to-head and is instead a matchup featuring 2 of the best players to ever play the game at their position.
Over 14 NFL seasons, Lewis has established himself as one of the most-feared defenders and fiercest competitors in the league. He’s a 10-time Pro Bowler, 2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a Super Bowl MVP. When all is said and done, Lewis will be looked upon as one of the best LBs to ever play the game.
“I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for him,” Favre said of Lewis. “The guy is a winner, he’s a competitor. I love his passion. He’d be a great guy to play with and not a guy you really want to go up against.
“To be mentioned with a guy like Ray, in the same breath, I’m honored by that.”
Favre’s record speaks for itself, too, and shows that he will also go down as one of the best players to ever play his position in the NFL. Aside from holding every significant pass record, Favre is also a 10-time Pro Bowler. He has a Super Bowl MVP Award and he’s been named league MVP 3 times.
“Favre is the true, true, true professional, the true warrior anytime he steps on the football field,” Lewis said.
Aside from their individual accolades, Favre and Lewis share other traits that have led to their greatness.
“The passion, the fire, the leadership, the things that these guys stand for on opposite sides of the ball,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said when listing traits shared by Favre and Lewis. “There are probably a lot of similarities there.”
Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress agreed that plenty of similarities exist between Favre and Lewis, but he also added that there are some differences as well.
“I think they are two different animals,” Childress said. “They both have great passion for the game. Brett doesn’t quite have the same introduction dance that Ray has. I’m not sure he wouldn’t hurt something if he were to go through that.
“They play at a high-level and have done it for a very long period of time and are great leaders in their own ways.”
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