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Baltimore Ravens Basics and History


Baltimore Ravens Basics and History
Photo © Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated

The Baltimore Ravens moved to Charm City from Cleveland prior to the 1996 season. They replaced the beloved Colts, who bolted in the dead of night in the winter of 1984. Immediately, the city took to its new franchise, named the Ravens after the famous poem by one-time Baltimore resident Edgar Allan Poe.

Ravens Rundown

Conference: AFC
Division: North (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati)
Home Field: M&T Bank Stadium
Owner: Steve Bisciotti
Coach: John Harbaugh
Colors: Purple, black and gold
Schedule: 2010

Ravens Firsts

Game: Sept. 1, 1996 (a 19-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders)
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (played there two seasons)
Head Coach: Ted Marchibroda
Starting Quarterback: Vinny Testaverde
Owner: Art Modell

A Super Season

The 2000 season was a special one for the Ravens and the entire city of Baltimore. The team boasted one of the greatest defensive units in the history of football, and it rode those that stingy D to a 34-7 Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants in Tampa, Fla.

Stunningly, the team did not score an offensive touchdown in the entire month of October, yet managed to win two of the five games in which is couldn't make it into the end zone. Quarterback Trent Dilfer played conservatively, and head coach Brian Billick relied on the running game, led by Jamal Lewis and All-Pro tackle Jonathan Ogden to control the ball. On defense, stud linebacker Ray Lewis and tough veterans like Rod Woodson simply would not give an inch.

In the Ravens' first-ever playoff game, they defeated the Denver Broncos 21-3. The next week the Ravens took down division rival Tennessee when Anthony Mitchell blocked a field goal attempt and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. In the AFC Championship in Oakland, Shannon Sharpe's 96-yard touchdown catch and led Baltimore to a 16-3 victory and a trip to Tampa.

Super Bowl XXXV

In hindsight, the New York Giants never really stood a chance. A surprising entrant from the NFC, the Giants could get no offense going against the stalwart Ravens D. After Ravens defensive back Duane Starks returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown to give Baltimore a 17-0 lead, the Giants' Ron Dixon returned the ensuring kickoff for a touchdown. But that feat was immediately answered by the Ravens' Jermaine Lewis (from the University of Maryland), who returned that ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. Three touchdowns in 36 seconds - a Super Bowl first. Baltimore cruised to a 34-7 victory, and Ray Lewis was named MVP.

All-Time Results

1996: 4-12
1997: 6-9-1
1998: 6-10
1999: 8-8 (Brian Billck's first season as head coach)
2000: 12-4
2001: 10-6
2002: 7-9
2003: 10-6
2004: 9-7
2005: 6-10
2006: 13-3
2007: 5-11
2008: 11-5 (John Harbaugh's first season as head coach)
2009: 9-7

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