BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens are celebrating their 25th anniversary season. The team kicks off on Sunday, September 13, at M&T Bank Stadium against the Cleveland Browns. Fans, unfortunately, won’t be able to fill the seats due to the coronavirus pandemic. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of fond memories to come this year.
Last year was chock-full of exciting moments. League MVP and Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson led the team to a 14-2 season. Jackson shredded his opponents both on the ground and through the air. He threw for over 3,000 yards and racked up 36 touchdowns while rushing for over 1,200 yards and scoring seven touchdowns. But it wasn’t just a one-man effort. The Ravens got production from Mark Ingram at running back and Mark Andrews at tight end, not to mention the team’s notoriously good defense, which has only gotten better since last season.
The Ravens 25th anniversary season is sure to be a year like no other, in many ways. And while amazing memories await fans, why not take a trip down memory lane and reminisce before the Browns come to town for the 2020 Regular Season opener. WJZ has compiled a list — unranked — of some of the best moments throughout the team’s history.
Ray Lewis’ Final Home Game
Who could ever forget Ray Lewis’ final home game, an AFC Wild Card match-up against the Indianapolis Colts, in which the Ravens went on to win 24-9, before going on to win the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers?
Lewis is not only a Ravens Hall of Famer but an icon in the city of Baltimore. Throughout his 17-year career, Lewis was a two-time Super Bowl Champion and 13-time Pro Bowler. He made 2,061 tackles, intercepted 31 passes, forced 17 fumbles and scored three defensive touchdowns.
Lewis was selected by the Ravens in the 1996 NFL Draft. He was the top-rated inside linebacker headed into the draft. He played his college ball at the University of Miami. In his first game as a Raven, Lewis earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after he registered seven tackles and one interception against the Oakland Raiders. He went on to win USA Today’s All-Rookie team honors that year. Lewis is arguably the foundation of the team’s history.
Ravens Defeat Giants In Super Bowl XXXV, Win First Lombardi Trophy In Franchise History
The Ravens defense dominated en route to a 34-7 win over Big Blue and a World Championship. The team’s defense from that year is often touted the greatest in NFL history. The Ravens Super Bowl-winning roster was the epitome of “smash mouth football.” A strong defense and unstoppable rushing attack led by Jamal Lewis sealed the deal.
In Baltimore’s win over New York, Lewis rushed for over 100 yards and scored a touchdown. He had 27 touches and broke off a 19-yard run in the game. Lewis also became the first rookie to score a rushing touchdown in the Super Bowl since Timmy Smith in 1988.
In 2000, Lewis’ first year in Baltimore, he rushed for over 1,300 yards and six touchdowns. In his six-year career in Baltimore, Lewis rushed for over 7,000 yards and scored 45 touchdowns. In his nine-year career in pro football, he rushed for over 10,000 yards and racked up 58 touchdowns.
Mile High Miracle: Ravens Defeat Broncos In 2012 AFC Divisional Round
What about The Mile High Miracle in Denver? Joe Flacco hit wide receiver Jacoby Jones for a touchdown with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter to tie the game and force overtime in the AFC Divisional Round against the Denver Broncos. The Ravens went on to win the game 38-35 in front of a stunned Broncos team and fanbase. The Ravens went on to defeat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, before winning Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers. The Super Bowl win marked the franchise’s second Lombardi Trophy and sent Ray Lewis out a champion.
Ravens Defeat San Francisco 49ers 34-31 In Super Bowl XLVII
Super Bowl XLVII was memorable in so many ways. It was the first time two brothers ever coached against each other in the Super Bowl; a power outage in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans caused a set of lights to shut off, forcing a 34-minute delay in play; the game came down to one final drive in which the Ravens defense made a goal line stand to secure the victory; Ray Lewis went out a champion; Ed Reed won his first title; and the franchise captured its second Super Bowl title. Joe Flacco went on to win Super Bowl MVP honors. Flacco completed 22-of-33 passes for 287 yards and three first-half touchdowns. He connected with Anquan Boldin for 13 yards, Dennis Pitta for 1, and Jacoby Jones for 56.
Steve Smith Catches 81-Yard Touchdown Pass In Ravens Debut
On March 14, 2014, Steve Smith signed a three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens, worth $11.5 million after spending 13 years in Carolina with the Panthers.
In the Ravens’ season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, Smith caught seven passes for 118 yards and an 80-yard touchdown. Although the Ravens lost that game, Smith’s presence was immediately felt in Baltimore.
Smith finished his career in Baltimore with 195 receptions, 2,534 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is sure to be yet another Raven to go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.