Mike Caldwell

Game 15: Thin defense wears out in Ravens' loss

The omen came early yesterday, when starting middle linebacker Ray Lewis aggravated a hip pointer during warm-ups and was pulled from a starting defense already decimated by injuries. Top defensive players such as linebacker Mike Caldwell and end Rob Burnett were out with knee injuries, and so were outside linebackers Jerrol Williams and Craig Powell.

And now Lewis.

The injury forced the Ravens to change schemes and eventually wear down as the Carolina Panthers scored on two long drives in the second half to defeat the Ravens, 27-16, before 70,075 at Ericsson Stadium.

As has been the case all season, the Ravens (4-11) stayed close for most of the game, but were done in...