Jamal is a better fit

Jamal Lewis Or The Ravens' Three-headed Monster?

October 29, 2008|By DON MARKUS

The question was first posed last month, when the Ravens hosted the Cleveland Browns.

Back then, I said I would rather have Jamal Lewis on a team built around its defense and a young quarterback.

I still would.

While neither Lewis nor Willis McGahee is having a great season for his respective team, Lewis is certainly more reliable and more consistent than the man who replaced him in Baltimore. Off-field problems earlier in his career notwithstanding, Lewis is also a better role model for young Ravens backs Ray Rice and Le'Ron McClain to follow.

McGahee has had the best game this season of the two - 105 yards against the Dolphins in Miami, where he always seems to play well - but Lewis has kept up steadier numbers.

On top of that, Lewis seems to be a better complement to Rice than McGahee. Lewis is a more punishing runner than McGahee, one who can pound a defense and soften it up more for Rice than McGahee seems capable of doing. Not that the featured back-by-committee approach isn't working for the Ravens; it has, mostly because of Rice and McClain.

I won't go as far as to say that the Ravens made a mistake in not re-signing Lewis before last season, but as the weather gets colder and the competition gets tougher, his battering-ram style is what the Ravens need to play smash-mouth within their own division, as well as against the NFC East and AFC South teams left on their schedule. McGahee has had one good game, in his hometown, against the Dolphins.

Don't ask the Ravens whom they would prefer.

Especially Terrell Suggs.

McGahee might not want to hear the answer.

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