Play in M&T Bank Stadium
Headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland
|Team colors||Purple, Black, Metallic Gold, White
|Fight song||"The Baltimore Fight Song" |
|Mascot||Poe (costumed mascot)
Rise and Conquer (live ravens)
|General manager||Ozzie Newsome|
|Head coach||John Harbaugh|
|League championships (2)|
|Conference championships (2)
|Division championships (4)
|Playoff appearances (9)|
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland. The team is a member of the American Football Conference's North Division and current defending champions of the National Football League.
The team originated in 1996 when then-owner of the Cleveland Browns, Art Modell, announced his plans to relocate the franchise to Baltimore. As part of a settlement between the league and the city of Cleveland, Modell was required to leave the Browns' name, colors and heritage in Cleveland for a replacement team that took the field in 1999. In return, he was allowed to take his players to Baltimore, where his new team would be legally recognized as an expansion team. The team's name was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven, as Poe lived for a time in Baltimore, died and was buried there in 1849.
The Ravens have experienced great success in their brief history, making the playoffs nine times since 2000, with two Super Bowl victories (2000 and 2012), two AFC Championship titles (2000 and 2012), four AFC North division titles (2003, 2006, 2011 and 2012), and are currently the only team in the NFL to hold a perfect record in multiple Super Bowl appearances. The Ravens organization has been lead by general manager Ozzie Newsome since the team's inception, and has had three head coaches: Ted Marchibroda, Brian Billick, and John Harbaugh. With a record-breaking defensive unit in their 2000 season, the team established a reputation for relying on strong defensive play, lead by players like middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who, until his retirement, was considered the "face of the franchise." The team is owned by Steve Bisciotti and valued at $1.09 billion, making the Ravens the 18th-most valuable sports franchise in the world.
The Baltimore Ravens came into existence in 1996 when Art Modell, then owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced his intention to relocate his team from Cleveland to Baltimore. The resulting controversy ended when representatives of Cleveland and the NFL reached a settlement on February 8, 1996. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue without any authority but out of spite promised the city of Cleveland that an NFL team would be located in Cleveland, either through relocation or expansion, "no later than 1999". Additionally, the agreement stipulated that the Browns' name, colors, uniform design and franchise records would remain in Cleveland. The franchise history includes Browns club records and connections with Pro Football Hall of Fame players. Modell's Baltimore team, while retaining all current player contracts, would, for purposes of team history, appear as an expansion team, a "new franchise." Not all players, staff or front office would make the move to Baltimore, however.
After relocation, Modell hired Ted Marchibroda as the head coach for his new team in Baltimore. Marchibroda was already well known because of his work as head coach of the Baltimore Colts during the 1970s and the Indianapolis Colts during the early 1990s. Ozzie Newsome, the Browns' tight end for many seasons, joined Modell in Baltimore as director of football operations. He was later promoted to vice-president/general manager. A fan contest, drawing 33,288 voters, was then held to determine the team's name. The chosen name, "Ravens," alludes to the famous poem The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, who spent the early part of his career in Baltimore.
The home stadium for the Ravens first two seasons was Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, home field of the Baltimore Colts and Baltimore Stallions years before. The Ravens moved to their own new stadium next to Camden Yards in 1998. Raven Stadium would subsequently wear the names PSI Net Stadium and then M&T Bank Stadium.
The 1997 Ravens started 3–1. Peter Boulware, a rookie defender from Florida State, recorded 11.5 sacks and was named AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year. The team finished 6–9–1. On October 26, the team made its first trip to Landover, Maryland to play their new regional rivals, the Washington Redskins, for the first time in the regular season, at the new Jack Kent Cooke Stadium (replacing the still-standing RFK Stadium in Washington, DC). The Ravens won the game 20–17.
Quarterback Vinny Testaverde left for the New York Jets before the 1998 season, and was replaced by former Indianapolis Colt Jim Harbaugh, and later Eric Zeier. Cornerback Rod Woodson joined the team after a successful stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Priest Holmes started getting the first playing time of his career and ran for 1,000 yards.
The Ravens finished 1998 with a 6–10 record. On November 29, the Ravens welcomed the Colts back to Baltimore for the first time in 15 years. Amidst a shower of negative cheers towards the Colts, the Ravens, with Jim Harbaugh at quarterback, won 38–31.
Three consecutive losing seasons under Marchibroda led to a change in the head coach. Brian Billick took over as head coach in 1999. Billick had been offensive coordinator for the record-setting Minnesota Vikings the season before. Quarterback Tony Banks came to Baltimore from the St. Louis Rams and had the best season of his career with 17 touchdown passes and an 81.2 pass rating. He was joined by receiver Qadry Ismail, who posted a 1,000-yard season. The Ravens initially struggled with a record of 4–7 but managed to finish with an 8–8 record.
Due to continual financial hardships, the NFL directed Modell to initiate the sale of his franchise. On March 27, 2000, NFL owners approved the sale of 49% of the Ravens to Steve Bisciotti. In the deal, Bisciotti had an option to purchase the remaining 51% for $325 million in 2004 from Art Modell. On April 9, 2004 the NFL approved Steve Bisciotti's purchase of the majority stake in the club.
The 2000 season saw the Ravens defense, led by defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, develop into a rock-solid unit that emerged as one of the most formidable defenses in NFL history. The Ravens defense set a new NFL record in holding opposing teams to 165 total points; the feat eclipsed the mark set previously by the Chicago Bears of 187 points for a 16 game season. Linebacker Ray Lewis was named Defensive Player of the year and, with two of his defensive teammates, Sam Adams and Rod Woodson, making the Pro Bowl.
Baltimore's season started strong with a 3–1 record. Tony Banks began the 2000 season as the starting quarterback and was replaced by Trent Dilfer when the Ravens fell to 5–4, and failed to score an offensive touchdown the entire month of October. Coach Brian Billick announced that the change at quarterback would be for the rest of the season. The 1,364-yard rushing season by rookie running back Jamal Lewis combined with the stout Ravens defense kept Baltimore competitive in games even when the offense struggled. At one point in the season the team played five consecutive games without scoring an offensive touchdown but still managed two wins during that stretch. The team regrouped and won each of their last seven games, finishing 12–4. The Ravens had made the playoffs for the first time.
Since the divisional rival Tennessee Titans had a record of 13–3, Baltimore had to play in the wild card round. In their first ever playoff game, they dominated the Denver Broncos 21–3 in front of a then record-crowd of 69,638 at then called PSINet Stadium. In the divisional playoffs, they went on the road to Tennessee. Tied 10–10 in the fourth quarter, an Al Del Greco field goal attempt was blocked and returned for a touchdown by Anthony Mitchell, and a Ray Lewis interception return for a score put the game squarely in Baltimore's favor. The 24–10 win put the Ravens in the AFC Championship against the Oakland Raiders. Shannon Sharpe's 96-yard touchdown catch early in the second quarter, followed by an injury to Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, highlighted the Ravens' 16–3 victory..
Baltimore then went to Tampa for Super Bowl XXXV where they met the New York Giants, cruising to a 34–7 win for their first championship in franchise history. The Ravens recorded four sacks, forced five turnovers, one of which was a Kerry Collins interception returned for a touchdown by Duane Starks. The Giants' only score was a Ron Dixon kickoff return for another touchdown (after Starks' interception return), making the 2000 Ravens the third Super Bowl team whose defense did not allow an opponent's offensive score; however, Baltimore immediately countered with a TD return by Jermaine Lewis. The Ravens became only the third wild-card team to win a Super Bowl championship. The interception return for a touchdown, followed by two kick return TDs, marked the quickest time in Super Bowl history that three touchdowns had been scored.
The title made the Ravens the fourth Baltimore-based pro football team to win a league championship. They were preceded by the NFL Baltimore Colts in 1958, 1959 and 1970, the USFL Stars in 1985 and the CFL Stallions in 1995.
In 2001, the Ravens attempted to defend its title with Elvis Grbac as its new starting quarterback, but a season-ending injury to Jamal Lewis on the first day of training camp and poor offensive performances stymied the team. After a 3–3 start, the Ravens defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the final week to clinch a wild card berth at 10–6. In the first round the Ravens showed flashes of their previous year with a 20–3 win over the Miami Dolphins, in which the team forced three turnovers and out-gained the Dolphins 347 yards to 151. In the divisional playoff the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers. Three interceptions by Grbac ended the Ravens' season, as they lost 27–10.
Baltimore ran into salary cap problems entering the 2002 season and was forced to part with a number of impact players. The Ravens stayed somewhat competitive, until a losing streak in December eliminated any chances of a post-season berth. Their final record that year was 7–9.
The Ravens needed a quarterback but drafting after all the top quarterbacks were gone, used their 10th pick to select Arizona State defensive end Terrell Suggs. They then traded their 2003 2nd round pick and 2004 1st round pick to the New England Patriots for the 19th overall selection which they used to draft Cal quarterback Kyle Boller. The Patriots eventually used the Ravens' 2004 1st round selection to take defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.
The Ravens named Boller their starting QB just prior to the start of the 2003 season, but he was injured midway through the season and was replaced by Anthony Wright. The Ravens held a 5–5 record until, in a home game against the Seattle Seahawks, they wiped out a 41–24 gap in the final seven minutes of regulation, then won on a Matt Stover field goal in overtime for a 44–41 triumph. From there the Ravens won five of their last six games. With a 10–6 record, Baltimore won their first AFC North division title. Running back Jamal Lewis ran for 2,066 yards on the season, including a then NFL single-game record of 295 yards at home against the Cleveland Browns on September 14. In doing so, Lewis became only the fifth player to eclipse the 2,000-yard rushing mark in league history, with his single-season total placing second all-time; just 39 yards short of the NFL record held by Eric Dickerson. Their first playoff game, at home against the Tennessee Titans, went back and forth, with the Ravens being held to only 100 yards total rushing.
For his remarkable season, Jamal Lewis was named as the NFL Offensive Player of the Year, while linebacker Ray Lewis, with another stand-out year that included 6 interceptions, was also recognized as Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career. This marked the first time ever that teammates received these respective individual honors in the same season.
After the season, Art Modell officially transferred the remaining bulk of his ownership to Bisciotti, ending over 40 years of tenure as an NFL franchise majority owner. Modell still held an office at the Ravens' headquarters in Owings Mills, Maryland, and remained with the team as a consultant.
The Ravens did not make the playoffs in 2004 and finished the season with a record of 9–7 with Kyle Boller spending the season at QB. They did get good play from veteran corner Deion Sanders and third year safety Ed Reed. They were also the only team to defeat the 15–1 Pittsburgh Steelers in the regular season.
In the 2005 offseason the Ravens looked to augment their receiving corps (which was second-worst in the NFL in 2004) by signing Derrick Mason from the Titans and drafting star Oklahoma wide receiver Mark Clayton in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. However, the Ravens ended their season 6–10, but defeated the Green Bay Packers 48–3 on Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl champion Steelers.
The 2006 Baltimore Ravens season began with the team trying to improve on their 6–10 record of 2005. The Ravens, for the first time in franchise history, started 4–0, under the leadership of former Titans quarterback Steve McNair.
The Ravens lost two straight games mid-season on offensive troubles, prompting coach Billick to drop their offensive coordinator Jim Fassel in their week seven bye. After the bye, and with Billick calling the offense, Baltimore would record a five-game win streak before losing to the Cincinnati Bengals in week 13.
Still ranked second overall to first-place San Diego Chargers, the Ravens continued on. They defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, and held the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers to only one touchdown at Heinz Field, allowing the Ravens to clinch the AFC North.
The Ravens ended the regular season with a franchise-best 13–3 record. Baltimore had secured the AFC North title, the No. 2 AFC playoff seed, and clinched a 1st-round bye by season's end. The Ravens were slated to face the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the playoffs, in the first meeting of the two teams in the playoffs. Many Baltimore and Indianapolis fans saw this historic meeting as a sort of "Judgment Day" with the new team of Baltimore facing the old team of Baltimore (the former Baltimore Colts having left Baltimore under questionable circumstances in 1984). Both Indianapolis and Baltimore were held to scoring only field goals as the two defenses slugged it out all over M&T Bank Stadium. McNair threw two costly interceptions, including one at the 1-yard line. The eventual Super Bowl champion Colts won 15–6, ending Baltimore's season.
After a stellar 2006 season, the Ravens hoped to improve upon their 13–3 record but injuries and poor play plagued the team. The Ravens finished the 2007 season in the AFC North cellar with a disappointing 5–11 record. A humiliating 22–16 overtime loss to the previously winless Miami Dolphins on December 16 ultimately led to Billick's dismissal on New Year's Eve, one day after the end of the regular season. He was replaced by John Harbaugh, the special teams coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and the older brother of former Ravens quarterback Jim Harbaugh (1998).
With rookies at head coach (John Harbaugh) and quarterback (Joe Flacco), the Ravens entered the 2008 campaign with lots of uncertainty. Their Week 2 contest at the Houston Texans was postponed until two months later because of Hurricane Ike, forcing the Ravens to play for what would eventually be eighteen straight weeks. With its record at 2–3 after consecutive losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts, its triumph over the Dolphins in Week 7 was redemption for what had happened against the same opponent in the previous season. Eight victories in its last ten regular season matches enabled them to clinch the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs at an 11–5 record. Possibly the biggest win during that stretch came in Week 16 with a 33–24 humbling of the Dallas Cowboys in the final game at Texas Stadium. Willis McGahee's 77-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter established a new stadium record which would last until Le'Ron McClain, on the very first offensive play of the Ravens' next possession, secured the victory with an 82-yarder.
On the strength of four interceptions, one resulting in an Ed Reed touchdown, the Ravens began its postseason run by winning a rematch over Miami 27–9 at Dolphin Stadium on January 4, 2009 in a wild-card game. Six days later, they advanced to the AFC Championship Game by avenging a Week 5 loss to the Titans 13–10 at LP Field on a Matt Stover field goal with 53 seconds left in regulation time. The Ravens fell one victory short of Super Bowl XLIII by losing to the Steelers 23–14 at Heinz Field on January 18, 2009.
With Jonathan Ogden retiring after the 2007 season and Matt Stover going into free agency, Baltimore's only remaining player from its first season was Ray Lewis. The Ravens held the 26th pick in the 2009 NFL draft but went up to the 23rd pick by trading its 26th pick and a 5th round pick to the New England Patriots. The Ravens selected Michael Oher (who later had a movie named The Blind Side made after his life during his early years) in the first round of the NFL Draft.
In the season opener, the offense continued its improvements from the year before as it scored 38 points and accounted for over 500 yards in a 38–24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. In week 2, the Ravens defeated the San Diego Chargers 31–26. Although the Ravens secondary struggled, Ray Lewis made a crucial tackle on fourth down of the Chargers' final drive to seal the Baltimore win. In week 3, the Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns in a 34–3 blowout while celebrating Derrick Mason's 800th pass reception in his career.
In week 4, the Ravens lost in heartbreak fashion to the New England Patriots, 27–21, with their final drive ending with a dropped pass by Mark Clayton on 4th down within the 10-yard line with 28 seconds left on the clock. The following week, the Ravens hosted the Cincinnati Bengals, but lost with the Bengals' final drive resulting in a touchdown. The Ravens then played an away game against the Minnesota Vikings and suffered another heartbreaking loss, 33–31, putting them behind both the Bengals and the Steelers in the AFC North. The Ravens had rallied from 17 points down to the Vikings and managed to drive the ball down the field, but Steve Hauschka missed a 44-yard field goal as time expired on the clock. Joe Flacco made 28 out of 43 passing attempts and threw for a career high 385 yards, and Ray Rice ran for 117 yards. The very next week they hosted the Denver Broncos, who were undefeated (6–0). After Hauschka kicked a pair of field goals in the 1st and 2nd quarters, the Broncos kicked off at the start of the 3rd quarter and the Ravens immediately returned it for a touchdown, giving the Ravens a 13–0 lead. They finished the game victorious, crushing the Broncos 30–7, handing Denver its first loss of the season.
The following week, they looked to avenge the week 5 loss to the Bengals. However, they were out-played on both sides of the ball, suffered a crucial miss by Hauschka, and lost 17–7.
In week 10, the Ravens visited the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football and shut out their divisional rivals 16–0 despite a slow offensive start. Steve Hauschka missed a field goal and had an extra point blocked, costing the Ravens four points. This led coach John Harbaugh to release Hauschka and replace him with Billy Cundiff.
In week 11, the Ravens played their third undefeated opponent, the Colts, who were (9–0). They lost 17–15, failing to score a single touchdown. Cundiff went 5 for 6 on field goals, scoring the Ravens only points. Joe Flacco threw a late interception and after Ed Reed's fumbled attempt to lateral on a punt return, Peyton Manning kneeled to seal the Colts' seventh consecutive victory against Baltimore. With this loss, the Ravens record stood at 5–5, ranking third in the AFC North.
The Ravens then beat the Steelers, who were playing without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with an overtime field goal on Sunday Night Football'. The next week, however, the Ravens lost to the Green Bay Packers on ESPN Monday Night Football.
The Ravens then crushed two opponents from the NFC North at home, beating the Detroit Lions 48–3 and the Chicago Bears 31–7. The Ravens improved to 8–6, second in the AFC North, and in line for the fifth seed. They looked ahead to their division rivals, the Steelers, who were coming off a dramatic last-second win against the Packers. A win would give the Ravens a chance to clinch a playoff spot and would knock the Steelers out of contention. But the Ravens, who committed 11 penalties and blew several chances to put additional points on Pittsburgh, lost 23–20. The Ravens still had a shot at the playoffs with a week 17 victory, and made it defeating the Oakland Raiders 21–13.
In the playoffs, they faced the Patriots in the wild card round. The Ravens beat the Patriots 33–14, aided by Ray Rice's 83-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, helping them to a 24–0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Advancing to the AFC divisional round, they next played Indianapolis. Two touchdowns late in the first half gave the Colts a 17–3 lead at halftime, and Baltimore miscues in the second half ensured the end of their season, by a 20–3 score.
During the 2009–2010 offseason, the Ravens made some key additions to their offense by acquiring WR Anquan Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals and free agent T. J. Houshmandzadeh, released after the preseason by the Seattle Seahawks. They also added Donté Stallworth, who most last played for the Cleveland Browns, but was suspended for the 2009 season, and signed back-up quarterback Mark Bulger who was released by the St. Louis Rams after the 1–15 2009 season. Stallworth broke his foot in the third preseason game and came back later in the season.
They also drafted tight ends Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson, defensive tackle Terrence Cody, Arthur Jones, linebacker Sergio Kindle, wide receiver David Reed and offensive tackle Ramon Harewood in the 2010 NFL Draft. On July 25, Sergio Kindle suffered a head trauma after falling down two flights of stairs in a home in Austin, Texas and was lost for the season. The new additions accounted for a combined 37 starts.
The Ravens finished the season at 12–4 but with a marginally worse divisional record (Steelers 5–1 divisionally versus the Ravens' 4–2). They then went on to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 30–7 in the wild card round of the playoffs, running back Ray Rice becoming the first Raven running back to have a receiving touchdown in a playoff game. The Ravens would then lose to the Steelers 31–24 in the divisional playoffs. Leading at halftime 21–7, the Ravens then turned the ball over three times in the third quarter, in which gave the Steelers 14 points. Baltimore's season ended with a potential touchdown drop by Anquan Boldin and, later, another drop by T. J. Houshmandzadeh on 4th down, surrendering the game 31–24.
After the 2011 NFL season Labor Dispute had ended, the Ravens had informed veterans Willis McGahee, Todd Heap, Kelly Gregg, and Derrick Mason that they would be cut in order to free up salary cap space. Following these cuts, the Ravens acquired fullback Vonta Leach, wide receiver Lee Evans, safety Bernard Pollard, and running back Ricky Williams. During the pre season, the Baltimore Ravens signed Left tackle Bryant McKinnie from the Minnesota Vikings. On top of that the Ravens signed Pro bowl center Andre Gurode from the Dallas Cowboys. With the new signings, there was a reshuffle within the Offensive line. The signing of McKinnie forced Michael Oher over to the Right Tackle position, which in turn allowed Marshall Yanda to revert to his natural Right Guard position. The Ravens finished their pre season 3–1, with a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and victories over the Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Atlanta Falcons.
2011 marked one of the most successful seasons in Baltimore Ravens franchise history. The Ravens started their campaign with a big 35–7 victory at home over their rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers. Other key victories included a 34–17 victory over the New York Jets in week three, a week six 29–14 victory over the Houston Texans, and a week nine win over the Steelers, this would be the first time since 2006 that the Ravens would sweep Pittsburgh in the AFC North division.
The Ravens went on and had a big win over the San Francisco 49ers in a week twelve Thursday night thanksgiving game. This was a game where Ravens coach John Harbaugh would face off against his brother Jim Harbaugh who had just taken over as head coach of the 49ers in the 2011 season. The Ravens would go on to end a 49ers win streak in a final score of 16–6. The Ravens recorded a franchise record of nine sacks on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, three coming from Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.
The Ravens went into the final week of the regular season already assured of a play off place at 11–4, but were tied with the Steelers record wise, and so they had to beat the Cincinnati Bengals on the road, in order to clinch the AFC North division for the first time since 2006. The Ravens defeated the Bengals for the second time in the 2011 regular season by a score of 24–16. The victory sealed the AFC North crown, a season 12–4 record, and a first round bye in the playoffs, which in turn sent both the Steelers and the Bengals on road in the wildcard playoff games – which both rivals lost to the Denver Broncos, and the Texans, respectively.
The Ravens accomplished a number of significant achievements during the 2011 season, finishing 6–0 in the division, 6–0 against 2012 playoff teams, and 8–0 at home. The Ravens went into the 2012 NFL playoffs with high expectations, however there were underlying worries, with what many considered to be inconsistent performances throughout the season by starting quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense – which many put the blame on for the four questionable road losses that came against teams they were expected to beat, the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, and San Diego Chargers.
The Texans would end up beating the Bengals in the wild card playoff round, which meant that they would face the Ravens in the divisional playoff game. The Ravens won the game 20–13 in a defensive struggle, Ed Reed would intercept a pass from the Texans rookie quarterback T. J. Yates in a fourth quarter offensive drive by the Texans, which ended up being the Texans last realistic shot at scoring to tie the game. Despite the victory over the Texans, a significant amount of sports media questioned the Ravens' offensive capability going into the AFC championship playoff round, after another proposed poor performance by the Ravens offense and Joe Flacco according to certain sports analysts.
The Ravens and New England Patriots played for a spot in the Super Bowl. After a close 3 quarters which saw the ball being turned over several times, Tom Brady leaped over the goal line on a 4th and 1 to put the Patriots ahead 23–20. After another couple of turnovers on both ends the Ravens marched down the field with under a minute to go. Joe Flacco threw a pass to Lee Evans with 38 seconds left, who appeared to catch it for the winning touchdown but the ball was knocked out by Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore, resulting in an incomplete pass. After Joe Flacco threw a dropped pass to Lee Evans, Billy Cundiff came out onto the field with 15 seconds to go to try and tie the game up with a 32-yard field goal. The kick went well to the left of the Patriots' goal post, and New England advanced to Super Bowl XLVI for a rematch with the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
Despite early injuries that led to struggles on the defensive side of the football, the Ravens jumped out to a 9–2 start thanks in part to a high powered no-huddle offense led by Joe Flacco. Needing just a single win to secure a second straight division title, the Ravens went on a three game losing streak, highlighted by the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, promotion of quarterback coach Jim Caldwell to offensive coordinator, and an embarrassing 34–17 loss at home to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on December 16. Regardless, the Ravens clinched their fifth straight playoff berth after the Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Despite making the playoffs, this slump led some media outlets to questions the Ravens ability to win football games, but after making a statement with a decisive 33–14 victory over the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and securing back to back division titles for the first time in franchise history, they finished with a regular season record of 10–6 and a rare home playoff game in the Wildcard Round.
The 2012 season also saw long-serving linebacker Ray Lewis announce his retirement heading into the AFC Wildcard game against the Indianapolis Colts. Lewis tore his triceps midway through October in his 17th season with the Ravens after Baltimore selected him with the 26th overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. The unusual timing of the announcement was criticized by some, such as former New York Giant Amani Toomer who accused Lewis of being selfish. Nonetheless, many, to include team mate Terrell Suggs, considered the timing to as a "stroke of genius in regards to Lewis' strong motivational presence, and credited Lewis with providing the necessary inspiration for the team in what would prove to be a Super Bowl victory season. They defeated the Colts during the wild card round on January 6, 2013 at M&T Bank Stadium, with Ray Lewis celebrating his final game at home with his trademark dance both at the start of the game as he was introduced and on the final play of the game when he was brought back onto the field. The Ravens were labeled as huge underdogs coming into the game, but they ended up beating the Denver Broncos in the second overtime, 38–35, in the divisional round on Saturday, January 12, 2013. It looked as though they had lost the game as they got the ball with just over a minute left on their twenty-three-yard line, but a clutch 70-yard touchdown pass, known colloquially as "The Mile High Miracle", from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones sent the game to overtime. In overtime, an interception of Peyton Manning by Corey Graham (who had already returned one interception for a touchdown earlier in the game) put the Ravens in field position to kick the winning field goal. The win vaulted the Ravens to play for the AFC Conference Championship against the New England Patriots on Sunday, January 20, 2013; the Ravens won 28–13. The win placed the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers on February 3, 2013. They won the championship by the score of 34–31 after a power-outage within the stadium during the 3rd quarter. This game has also been dubbed the "Harbaugh Bowl" due to the fact that the 49ers were coached by Jim Harbaugh, the brother of Ravens coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens returned to Baltimore to celebrate with their fans on Tuesday, February 5. A parade saw upwards of 200,000 line the streets of downtown Baltimore while another 80,000 packed M&T Bank Stadium to cheer the team. Speeches by owner Steve Biscotti, Coach Harbaugh, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were cheered by the fans.
By virtue of winning Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens were scheduled to host the Kickoff Game on Thursday, September 5, 2013, however due to a schedule conflict with the Baltimore Orioles (whom which they share a parking lot), the Baltimore Ravens will be the first Super Bowl Champion, in 10 years, not to host the following years Kickoff Game. The 2013 Kickoff Game will be played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High when the Ravens visit the Denver Broncos.
After losing linebacker Ray Lewis and center Matt Birk to retirement, the Ravens' roster underwent significant changes throughout the 2013 offseason. Free agent linebacker Paul Kruger signed with the Cleveland Browns, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe signed with the Miami Dolphins, cornerback Cary Williams signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and safety Ed Reed signed with the Houston Texans. Additionally, safety Bernard Pollard was released due to salary cap reasons and later signed with the Tennessee Titans. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round draft pick. The Ravens made some offseason additions as well, signing defensive linemen Chris Canty and Marcus Spears as well as signing key free agent linebacker Elvis Dumervil and safety Michael Huff.
By far the team's biggest rival is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh and Baltimore are separated by a less-than-five-hour drive along Interstate 70. Both teams are known for their hard-hitting physical style of play. They play at least twice a year in the AFC North, and have met three times in the playoffs. The Steelers are 3–0 against Baltimore in the postseason, but games between these two teams usually come down to the wire. The rivalry is considered one of the most significant and intense in the NFL today.
Although the Steelers rivalry is based on mutual respect and antagonism for each other, the Ravens' rivalry with the Indianapolis Colts is fueled by the fans' animosity towards the organization, not contention between the players. This is due to the fact that the then-Colts owner, Robert Irsay, while publicly still in negotiations with the city for the stadium improvements that he was demanding, sneaked the Colts out of Baltimore in the dead of night to take them to Indianapolis. During Ravens home games the scoreboard lists the away team simply as "Indy" rather than the team name that is traditionally used for the visiting opponent.* The PA announcer will also refer to the Colts as the Indianapolis Professional Football Team. Since 2001 the Indianapolis Colts hold an 8–2 advantage over the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens also enjoy a rivalry with the Washington Redskins due to the proximity to the D.C. area. The current scheduling formula, however, causes the two teams to meet only once every four years. At the start of each preseason, the teams go head to head.
The Ravens also have divisional rivalries with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. The reactivated Cleveland Browns and their fans maintain a hatred of Baltimore's team due to its move from Cleveland. The rivalry with the Browns has been one-sided in the Ravens' favor, standing at 19 wins for Baltimore to 7 losses entering 2012. The rivalry with Cincinnati has been close, standing at 19–15 in favor of the Ravens entering 2013.
The Ravens first met the New England Patriots in 1996, but the rivalry truly started in 2007 when the Ravens suffered a bitter 27–24 loss in the Patriots quest for perfection. The rivalry began to escalate in 2009 when the Ravens lost to the Patriots 27–21 in a game that involved a confrontation between Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. Both players would go on to take verbal shots at each other through the media after the game. The Ravens faced the Patriots in a 2009 AFC wild card playoff game and won 33–14; the Ravens ran the ball for more than 250 yards. This was the first time the Ravens had ever defeated the Patriots.
The Ravens faced the Patriots in Week 6 of the 2010 season; the Ravens ended up losing 23–20 in overtime; the game caused controversy due to a hit to the helmet of tight end Todd Heap by Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather.
The Ravens played the Patriots for the third consecutive season, in the 2012 AFC championship game in which the Ravens lost 23–20. The rivalry reached a new level of friction with this, the second career playoff game between the two clubs. The Ravens clawed to a 20–16 lead in the fourth quarter but Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dove into the end zone to make the score 23–20 with around 11 minutes remaining; this proved to be the winning touchdown. On the Ravens last possession of the game, quarterback Joe Flacco threw a pass to wide receiver Lee Evans in the corner of the end zone which looked to be the game winning touchdown, before a last second strip by Sterling Moore forced the ball from the hands of Evans, forcing the game to be decided on a last minute field goal by Ravens placekicker Billy Cundiff. With eleven seconds remaining on the clock, the kicker missed the 32-yard field goal attempt by a very wide margin, allowing the Patriots to kill the clock on their way to Super Bowl XLVI.
Because of Cundiff's missed field goal, many people dubbed him as 'Ray Finkle', a character from the Jim Carrey movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. In the movie, a placekicker for the Miami Dolphins missed a field goal, similar to Cundiff's, to lose the game in the last few seconds. This has led to many meme-based videos on YouTube and other photos on the internet.
The Ravens' first regular-season win over the Patriots came on September 23, 2012. The game was emotional as receiver Torrey Smith was competing following the death of his brother in a motorcycle accident just the night before. Smith caught two touchdowns in a back and forth game; the Ravens erased a 13–0 lead in the first half and led 14–13, but the Patriots scored at the end of the second quarter for a 20–14 lead. The lead changed twice in the third quarter and the Patriots led 30–21 in the fourth, but the Ravens scored on Smith's second touchdown catch. The Ravens were stopped on fourth down but the Patriots had to punt; in the final two minutes a pass interference penalty on Devin McCourty put the ball at the Patriots 7-yard line; new Ravens kicker Justin Tucker booted a 27-yard field goal on the final play; the ball sailed directly over the upright and was ruled good; the quality of officiating by replacement referees caused controversy as Bill Belichick angrily reached for one of the referees as they were leaving the field, leading to a $50,000 fine later that week.
The 2 teams met again on January 20, 2013 in the AFC Championship, where the Ravens won 28–13. The Patriots led at halftime, 13–7, but the Ravens' defense gave up no points in the second half. It was the first time ever that Tom Brady lost a game at home after leading at halftime, and the first time a road team beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
The team's first helmet logo, used from 1996 through 1998, featured raven wings outspread from a shield displaying a letter B framed by the word Ravens overhead and a cross bottony underneath. The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a jury verdict that the logo infringed on a copyright retained by Frederick E. Bouchat, an amateur artist and security guard in Maryland, but that he was entitled to only three dollars in damages from the NFL.
Bouchat had submitted his design to the Maryland Stadium Authority by fax after learning that Baltimore was to acquire an NFL team. He was not credited for the design when the logo was announced. Bouchat sued the team, claiming to be the designer of the emblem; representatives of the team asserted that the image had been designed independently. The court ruled in favor of Bouchat, noting that team owner Modell had access to Bouchat's work. Bouchat's fax had gone to John Moag, the Maryland Stadium Authority chairman, whose office was located in the same building as Modell's. Bouchat ultimately was not awarded monetary compensation in the damages phase of the case.
The Baltimore Sun ran a poll showing three designs for new helmet logos. Fans participating in the poll expressed a preference for a raven's head in profile over other designs. Art Modell announced that he would honor this preference but still wanted a letter B to appear somewhere in the design. The new Ravens logo featured a raven's head in profile with the letter superimposed. The secondary logo is a shield that honors Baltimore's history of heraldry. Alternating Calvert and Crossland emblems (seen also in the flag of Maryland and the flag of Baltimore) are interlocked with stylized letters B and R.
The design of the Ravens uniform has remained essentially unchanged since the team's inaugural season in 1996. Helmets are black with purple "talon" stripes rising from the facemask to the crown. Players normally wear purple jerseys at home and white jerseys on the road. In 1996 the team wore black pants with a single large white stripe for all games. At home games the combination of black pants with purple jersey made the Ravens the first NFL team to wear dark colors head to calf. A number of NFL teams have since donned the look, beginning with the all-black home uniform worn in three games by the 2001 New Orleans Saints.
In 1997 the Ravens opted for a more classic NFL look with white pants sporting stripes in purple and black. The white pants were worn with both home and road jerseys. The road uniform (white pants with white jerseys) was worn by the Ravens in the 2000 Super Bowl.
In the 2002 season the Ravens began the practice of wearing white jerseys for the home opener and, occasionally, other early games in the season that have a 1:00 kickoff. Since John Harbaugh became the head coach in 2008, the Ravens have also worn their white jerseys at home for preseason games.
In November 2004 the team introduced an alternate uniform design featuring black jerseys and solid black pants with black socks. The all-black uniform was first worn for a home game against the Cleveland Browns, entitled "Pitch Black" night, that resulted in a Ravens win. The uniform has since been worn for select prime-time national game broadcasts and other games of significance.
The Ravens began wearing black pants again with the white jersey in 2008. On December 7, 2008, during a Sunday Night Football game against the Washington Redskins, the Ravens introduced a new combination of black jersey with white pants. It was believed to be due to the fact that John Harbaugh doesn't like the "blackout" look. However, on December 19, 2010, the Ravens wore their black jerseys and black pants in a 30–24 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
On December 5, 2010, the Ravens reverted to the black pants with the purple jerseys versus the Pittsburgh Steelers during NBC's Sunday Night Football telecast. The Ravens lost to the Steelers 13–10. They wore the same look again for their game against the Cleveland Browns on December 24, 2011, and they won, 20–14. They wore this combination a third time against the Houston Texans on January 15, 2012 in the AFC Divisional playoff. They won 20–13.
From their inaugural season until 2006, the Ravens wore white cleats with their uniforms; they switched to black cleats in 2007.
The team marching band is called Baltimore's Marching Ravens. They began as the Colts' marching band and have operated continuously from September 7, 1947 to the present. They helped campaign for football to return to Baltimore after the Colts moved. Because they stayed in Baltimore after the Colts left, the band is nicknamed "the band that would not die" and were the subject of an episode of ESPN's 30 for 30. The Washington Redskins are the only other NFL team that currently has a marching band.
Baltimore Ravens roster
Rookies in italics
The Ravens officially have no retired numbers. However, out of respect for Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas only one player has ever worn No. 19 (Scott Mitchell, 1999). Also, because of OJ Brigance, few players have ever worn No. 57. Again, none of those numbers are officially retired.
The Ravens have a "Ring of Honor" which is on permanent display encircling the field of M&T Bank Stadium, including a sign with the names and dates of play viewable from the seats. The ring currently honors the following:
The Baltimore Ravens had their first draft in 1996, where they selected offensive lineman from UCLA and current NFL Hall of Famer, and 11-time Pro-Bowler Jonathan Ogden. Along with their pick in the next year's draft, this was the highest first-round draft pick that the Ravens have had. They also selected Ray Lewis with the 26th pick. In both 1996 and 2000, the Ravens had two first-round draft picks. However, in 2004 they had none. In their history, the Ravens have drafted 3 offensive linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 wide receivers, 2 cornerbacks, 2 quarterbacks, a running back, tight end, safety, and defensive tackle. The Ravens have 39 combined Pro-Bowl appearances from their first-round draft picks.
All records as of January 8, 2013 per Pro-Football Reference.com
Baltimore Ravens staff
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
The Ravens' flagship radio stations are WIYY (98 Rock) and WBAL 1090 AM, with Gerry Sandusky (WBAL-TV Sports Anchor since 1988) as the play-by-play announcer and analysts Stan White (Baltimore Colts LB 1972–1979) and Qadry Ismail (Baltimore Ravens WR 1999–2001). The Hearst-Argyle stations were in their first season of game coverage, replacing longtime stations WJFK/WQSR. As of the 2010 season, any Ravens preseason games not on national television are seen on WBAL-TV in Baltimore and on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network throughout the region. Sandusky, White and Ismail are also the television announcers. MASN also has extensive coverage of the team throughout the season, including postgame reports and the magazine show Ravens Wired. Ravens Wired, as well as Ravens Report and the regional preseason games, are produced by the Ravens in-house production department, RaveTV.
|Baltimore||97.9 FM and 1090 AM||WIYY and WBAL|
|Cambridge||106.3 FM and 1240 AM||WCEM-FM and WCEM (AM)|
|Lexington Park||97.7 FM||WMDM|
|Washington, D.C.||1500 AM||WFED|
"Baltimore Ravens." News RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. Jan 16, 2013. <http://www.baltimoreRavens.com/>.
St. Louis Rams
|Super Bowl Champions
New England Patriots
New York Giants
|Super Bowl Champions
|National Football League (2013)|
|Buffalo Bills||Baltimore Ravens||Houston Texans||Denver Broncos|
|Miami Dolphins||Cincinnati Bengals||Indianapolis Colts||Kansas City Chiefs|
|New England Patriots||Cleveland Browns||Jacksonville Jaguars||Oakland Raiders|
|New York Jets||Pittsburgh Steelers||Tennessee Titans||San Diego Chargers|
|Dallas Cowboys||Chicago Bears||Atlanta Falcons||Arizona Cardinals|
|New York Giants||Detroit Lions||Carolina Panthers||St. Louis Rams|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Green Bay Packers||New Orleans Saints||San Francisco 49ers|
|Washington Redskins||Minnesota Vikings||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Seattle Seahawks|
|Seasons (by team) · Regular season · Playoffs · AFC Championship · NFC Championship · Super Bowl (champions · quarterbacks) · Pro Bowl
League Championship History: AFL Championship (1960–1969) · NFL Championship (1920–1969) · One-game playoff · Playoff Bowl
|Owners · Officials · Properties · Stadiums (chronology) · Timeline · Defunct franchises · Records (individual, team, quarterback win–loss, Super Bowl) · All-Pro · Hall of Fame · Lore · Nicknames · AFL · Merger · History in Los Angeles, Toronto (Bills Series) · International Series · TV · Radio · Management Council · NFLPA · Player conduct (suspended players) · Draft · Training camp · Preseason (Hall of Fame Game, American Bowl) · Kickoff · Monday Night Football · Playoff streaks · Playoff droughts · Rivalries · Thanksgiving Classic · Christmas games · NFL Charities · Tied games · Cancelled games · Lockouts · Controversies · Cheerleading|
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