Established February 9, 1996|
First season: 1996
Play in M&T Bank Stadium
Headquartered in Owings Mills, Maryland
|Fight song||"The Baltimore Fight Song"|
Poe (costumed mascot)|
Rise and Conquer (live ravens)
|General manager||Ozzie Newsome|
|Head coach||John Harbaugh|
Conference championships (2)
Division championships (4)
|Playoff appearances (10)|
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division. The team plays its home games at M&T Bank Stadium and is headquartered in Owings Mills.
The Ravens were established in 1996, when Art Modell, who was then the owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced plans to relocate the franchise from Cleveland, Ohio to Baltimore. As part of a settlement between the league and the city of Cleveland, Modell was required to leave the Browns' heritage in Cleveland for a replacement team and replacement personnel that would take control in 1999 including the history and records of the Browns. In return, he was allowed to take his own personnel and team to Baltimore, where such personnel would then form an expansion team.
The Ravens have been one of the more successful franchises since their inception, having qualified for the NFL playoffs ten times since 2000, with two Super Bowl victories (Super Bowl XXXV and Super Bowl XLVII), two AFC Championship titles (2000 and 2012), 15 playoff victories, four AFC Championship game appearances (2000, 2008, 2011 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 and Thanksgiving Day appearances. The Ravens organization has been led by general manager Ozzie Newsome since 1996, 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, led 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 $1.5 billion, making the Ravens the 24th-most valuable sports franchise in the world.
The name "Ravens" was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven. Chosen in a fan contest that drew 33,288 voters, the allusion honors Poe, who spent the early part of his career in Baltimore and is buried there. As the Baltimore Sun reported at the time, fans also "liked the tie-in with the other birds in town, the Orioles, and found it easy to visualize a tough, menacing black bird."
After the controversial relocation of the Colts to Indianapolis, several attempts were made to bring an NFL team back to Baltimore. In 1993, ahead of the 1995 league expansion, the city was considered a favorite, behind only St. Louis, to be granted one of two new franchises. League officials and team owners feared litigation due to conflicts between rival bidding groups if St. Louis was awarded a franchise, and in October Charlotte, North Carolina was the first city chosen. Several weeks later, Baltimore's bid for a franchise—dubbed the Baltimore Bombers, in honor of the locally produced Martin B-26 Marauder bomber—had three ownership groups in place and a state financial package which included a proposed $200 million, rent-free stadium and permission to charge up to $80 million in personal seat license fees. Baltimore, however, was unexpectedly passed over in favor of Jacksonville, Florida, despite Jacksonville's minor TV market status and that the city had withdrawn from contention in the summer, only to return with then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's urging. Although league officials denied that any city had been favored, it was reported that Taglibue and his longtime friend Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke had lobbied against Baltimore due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., and that Taglibue had used the initial committee voting system to prevent the entire league ownership from voting on Baltimore's bid. This led to public outrage and the Baltimore Sun describing Taglibue as having an "Anybody But Baltimore" policy. Maryland governor William Donald Schaefer said afterward that Taglibue had led him on, praising Baltimore and the proposed owners while working behind-the-scenes to oppose Baltimore's bid.
By May 1994, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos had gathered a new group of investors, including author Tom Clancy, to bid on teams whose owners had expressed interest in relocating. Angelos found a potential partner in Georgia Frontiere, who was open to moving the Los Angeles Rams to Baltimore. Jack Kent Cooke opposed the move, intending to build the Redskins' new stadium in Laurel, Maryland, close enough to Baltimore to cool outside interest in bringing in a new franchise. This led to heated arguments between Cooke and Angelos, who accused Cooke of being a "carpetbagger." The league eventually persuaded Rams team president John Shaw to relocate to St. Louis instead, leading to a league-wide rumor that Tagliabue was again steering interest away from Baltimore, a claim which Tagliabue denied. In response to anger in Baltimore, including Governor Schaefer's threat to announce over the loudspeakers Tagliabue's exact location in Camden Yards any time he attended a Baltimore Orioles game, Tagliabue remarked of Baltimore's financial package: "Maybe (Baltimore) can open another museum with that money." Following this, Angelos made an unsuccessful $200 million bid to bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Baltimore.
Having failed to obtain a franchise via the expansion, the city, despite having "misgivings," turned to the possibility of obtaining the Cleveland Browns, whose owner Art Modell was financially struggling and at odds with the city of Cleveland over needed improvements to the team's stadium.
New Expansion Team
Enticed by Baltimore's available funds for a first-class stadium, Modell announced on November 6, 1995 his intention to relocate the team from Cleveland to Baltimore the following year. The resulting controversy ended when representatives of Cleveland and the NFL reached a settlement on February 8, 1996. Tagliabue 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.
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 Early Years and Ted Marchibroda Era (1996–1998)
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.
Brian Billick Era and first Super Bowl victory (1999–2007)
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.
2000: Super Bowl XXXV champions
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, made 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 thousand 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. In the NFL Draft, the team selected Ed Reed with the 24th overall pick. Reed would go on to become one of the best safeties in NFL history, making nine Pro Bowls until leaving the Ravens for the Houston Texans in 2013. Despite low expectations, the Ravens stayed somewhat competitive in 2002 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. The Ravens lost, though, by three, 20–17.
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, who won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. 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).
John Harbaugh/Flacco Era; second Super Bowl (2008–present)
2008: Arrival of John Harbaugh, Flacco, and Ray Rice
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.
2012: Ray Lewis' final season and 2nd Super Bowl
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 a 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. With the defeat of the Colts in the Wildcard round, the Ravens were primed to face the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Denver in the AFC divisional round. Labeled as huge underdogs coming into the game, especially considering the previous thrashing the Broncos dealt them in a home loss on December 16, 2012, the Ravens shocked the sports world by defeating the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos in double overtime, 38–35, in a spectacular divisional round matchup 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 own 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 after shutting out Tom Brady and the New England offense in the second half, completely dismantling any offensive attempt(s) thereafter. The win placed the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers on February 3, 2013. The Ravens opened the game in thrilling fashion as their opening drive of the game ended with a touchdown pass from eventual Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco to wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Flacco threw two second-quarter touchdown passes as Baltimore took a 21-6 lead into halftime. After halftime, the Ravens received the kickoff from the 49ers, and Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff for a record setting 108-yard touchdown. However, soon after the Jacoby Jones touchdown, a power-outage at the stadium led to a 34-minute stoppage in play due to inefficiencies in lighting, on-field visibility, and electrical equipment. After power was restored, the 49ers regained composure and came storming back, scoring 17 unanswered points. The 49ers had a final chance to take the lead late in the game, but a goal-line stand by the Ravens with less than two minutes remaining sealed the contest as the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII 34–31. Super Bowl XLVII has also been dubbed the "Harbaugh Bowl" since 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 300,000 people 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 John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were met by fans with standing ovations.
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 scheduling conflict with the Baltimore Orioles (with whom they share a parking lot) and the NFL's refusal to move the game to a different night, the Baltimore Ravens were the first Super Bowl Champion in 10 years not to host the following year's Kickoff Game. The 2013 Kickoff Game was played at Sports Authority Field at Mile High when the Ravens visited 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. As well as drafting first round pick Safety Matt Elam, second round pick Linebacker Arthur Brown, third round pick Defensive Tackle Brandon Williams, and fourth round pick "hybrid" Fullback Kyle Juszczyk among others. Unfortunately during training camp the Ravens lost another key player, tight-end Dennis Pitta for the entire season (who was primed for an even greater 2013 season). During a routine drill, he suffered a dislocated/fractured hip after colliding with another teammate (James Ihedigbo) at the back of the end zone. In response, during August, they re-signed wide receiver Brandon Stokley, whom they drafted in 1999, and signed former Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end, Dallas Clark.
The season started out badly for the Ravens, as they were defeated by the Broncos in their season opener, thus becoming the second Super Bowl Champion to lose the NFL kickoff game. This meant that they held the first loss of the season, breaking a record for the most points allowed by the defense and ending a 75-game streak of holding a .500 or better win-loss ratio. They would rebound in Week 2 with a 14–6 victory over their division rival, the Cleveland Browns. The following week the Ravens took on the unbeaten Houston Texans at home; this time they would face a familiar face in safety Ed Reed, who played for them for 12 seasons. After a strong showing by the defense, which only allowed 9 points, the Ravens clobbered the Texans 30–9. In Week 4, the Ravens struggled against the Buffalo Bills as Joe Flacco threw a career high 5 interceptions. The Ravens fell to the Bills 23–20. At 2–2, the Ravens hit the road to Miami to take on the Dolphins. Although they faced a 13–6 deficit at halftime, the offense rallied to score 17 consecutive points giving the Ravens a 23–13 lead in the 4th quarter. However, Miami answered right back with 10 points of their own, tying the game at 23 with 8:03 left. Justin Tucker then kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:42 left to give the Ravens a 26–23 lead. After the Dolphins comeback attempt stalled, Caleb Sturgis missed a field goal late, giving the Ravens the win. The Ravens then returned home to take on the Green Bay Packers. The offense struggled early, as the Ravens were shut out in the first half. Trailing 16-3 in the 4th quarter Joe Flacco found Jacoby Jones in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass to reduce the deficit to 16-10. After another Packers field goal, the Ravens faced a 19-10 deficit with 4:17 remaining. Joe Flacco was able to find Dallas Clark in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown pass, making it 19-17. However, the Packers were able to seal the victory by picking up first downs and running out the clock. The following week, the Ravens would fall to their rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-19 on a last second field goal by Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham. The following week, the Ravens would lose 18-24 to the Cleveland Browns for the first time under John Harbaugh. Facing the probable end to their season at that point, the Ravens would snap their three-game skid with a win against their first-place division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in overtime. The following week, the Ravens were scheduled to face the Chicago Bears. The game was delayed for two hours due to a heavy storm. The Ravens would, however, fall to the Bears 20-23 in overtime. They would rebound the next week in a home game against the New York Jets. On Thanksgiving, the Ravens would defeat the Steelers 22-20 at home, avenging their Week 7 loss to them, and improving to 2-0 on Thanksgiving games. In Week 14 the Ravens would beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-29. In Week 15, the Ravens would beat the Detroit Lions at Ford Field 18-16 off Justin Tucker's 6 field goals, including a 61-yarder that proved to be the game-clinching score followed by a Matthew Stafford interception. In Week 16 the Ravens would lose at home to the New England Patriots 41-7 making it the second worst home loss in Ravens history. In Week 17 the Ravens faced the Cincinnati Bengals. The defense forced 4 interceptions on Andy Dalton but it wasn't enough for the offense to take advantage of. Baltimore tied the game 17-17 in the second half, but surrendered 17 unanswered points to the Bengals, thus ending their season at 8-8 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
On January 27, 2014, the Ravens hired former Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak to be their new offensive coordinator after Jim Caldwell accepted the new available head coaching job with the Detroit Lions. In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Ravens selected C.J. Mosley with the 17th overall pick. During the offseason, the Ravens signed former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith to a three-year contract. They also signed tight end Owen Daniels and running back Justin Forsett, as they played for Kubiak in Houston and would seemingly fit in Kubiak's new system. On February 15, 2014, star running back Ray Rice and his fiancée Janay Palmer were arrested and charged with assault after a physical altercation at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Celebrity news website TMZ posted a video of Rice dragging Palmer's body out of an elevator after apparently knocking her out. For the incident, Rice was initially suspended for the first two games of the 2014 NFL season on July 25, 2014, which led to widespread criticism of the NFL.
In Week 1, on September 7, the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-16. The next day, on September 8, 2014, TMZ released additional footage from an elevator camera showing Rice punching Palmer. The Baltimore Ravens terminated Rice's contract as a result, and was later indefinitely suspended by the NFL. Although starting out 0-1 for two straight seasons and having received unwanted media attention for the Ray Rice incident, on September 11, 2014, the Ravens rallied back and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 on Thursday Night Football, to improve to 1-1 . On the Sunday after the Thursday night victory, the Ravens headed to Cleveland for a third straight division game with the Browns. In a tough fought game, the Baltimore Ravens won 23-21 with a game-winning 32-yard field goal by Justin Tucker as time expired. On September 28, the Ravens hosted the Carolina Panthers, and in a fabulous offensive performance, defeated the Carolina Panthers 38-10; with this victory the Ravens have defeated every visiting franchise at least once at home (and at M&T Bank Stadium). The very next week, the Ravens traveled to Indianapolis to play the Colts in Week 5. However, three turnovers and QB Joe Flacco being sacked four times resulted in a 20-13 loss, breaking the 3-2 Ravens win streak. In week 6, Joe Flacco led the Ravens to an impressive 48-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Flacco threw 5 touchdown passes in the first 16:03 of the game, an NFL record, to put the contest out of reach early in the 2nd quarter. In Week 7, the Ravens hosted the Atlanta Falcons and won 29-7. The next week, the Ravens traveled to Cincinnati for a key divisional game. Both defenses forced key turnovers in a game that no passing touchdowns were thrown. In the waning seconds of the 4th quarter as Baltimore trailed, Flacco threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith that seemingly won the game. However, Smith was controversially called for offensive pass interference on Bengals safety George Iloka, who looked to have flopped, that negated the touchdown. The Ravens ended up losing 27-24 and being swept by the Bengals for the first time since 2009. The next week, the Ravens traveled to Pittsburgh for another key division match. Two unfortunate turnovers led to an offensive surge by the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger throwing six touchdowns on an injury riddled Baltimore secondary, humbling the Ravens 43-23. Afterwards, the Ravens made some changes to their secondary, cutting cornerbacks Chykie Brown and Dominique Franks, and signing former Ravens cornerback Danny Gorrer. The Ravens hosted the Tennessee Titans in Week 10, winning 21-7, and going into their bye week 6-4. After the bye week, the Ravens traveled down to New Orleans for an interconference battle with the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. In the third quarter, with the score tied 17-17, new Ravens free safety Will Hill stepped in front of a Drew Brees pass and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown. Running back Justin Forsett had a career night, running for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns, as the Ravens won 34-27, improving their record to 7-4 and a 4-0 sweep of the NFC south. In Week 13 against the San Diego Chargers, the Ravens loss in heartbreaking fashion 34-33, allowing the Chargers to score 21 points in the 4th quarter. The Ravens rebounded the next week against the Miami Dolphins winning 27-10, and the defense sacking Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill six times. The defense was even more dominant against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 20-12 win, sacking rookie quarterback Blake Bortles eight times. In Week 16, the Ravens traveled to Houston to take on the Texans. In one of Joe Flacco's worst performances, the offense sputtered against the Houston defense and Flacco threw three interceptions, including two inside the Ravens own 20 yard line, falling to the Texans 25-13. With their playoff chances and season hanging in the balance, the Ravens took on the Browns in Week 17 at home. After three quarters had gone by and down 10-3, Joe Flacco led the Ravens on a comeback scoring 17 unanswered points in the 4th quarter, winning 20-10. With the win, and the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the San Diego Chargers, the Ravens clinched their sixth playoff berth in seven seasons, and the first since winning Super Bowl XLVII.
In the wildcard playoff game, the Ravens won 30-17 against their divisional rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, at Heinz Field. The next in the Divisional round, the Ravens faced the New England Patriots. Despite a strong offensive effort and having a 14-point lead twice in the game, the Ravens were defeated by the Patriots 35-31, ending their season.
The 2015 season marked 20 seasons of the franchise's existence, competing in the NFL which the franchise have recognized with a special badge being worn on their uniforms during the 2015 NFL season. After coming up just short against the Patriots in the playoffs, the Ravens were picked by some to win the AFC and even the Super Bowl. However, they lost key players such as Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith Sr., and Eugene Monroe to season-ending injuries. Injuries and their inability to win close games early in the season led to the first losing season in the John Harbaugh-Flacco era.
By far the team's biggest rival is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh and Baltimore are separated by a less-than-5-hour drive along Interstate 70. Both teams are known for their hard-hitting physical style of play. They play twice a year in the AFC North, and have met four times in the playoffs. Games between these two teams usually come down to the wire as most within the last 5 years have come down to 3 points or less. 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, under the threat of eminent domain from the city of Baltimore, was forced to sneak the Colts out of Baltimore in the middle of the night to take them to Indianapolis. During Ravens home games the scoreboard lists the away team simply as "Away" or "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; although on January 6, 2013 the scoreboard at the playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium listed the away team as "Colts". The Indianapolis Colts hold an all-time 9–4 advantage over the Baltimore Ravens, including a 2–1 advantage in the playoffs.
Other AFC North Rivals
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 very one-sided; Baltimore holds an advantage of 25-9 against Cleveland.
The rivalry with Cincinnati has been closer, both teams tied at 20-20 after the 2015 season.
New England Patriots
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 Patriots beat the Ravens 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.
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 2011 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.
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 deficit 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 two 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.
On December 22, 2013 the teams met again, this rematch of the AFC championship game was a mismatch from the outset. New England took a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter and never let up behind a defense that forced four turnovers and had four sacks. New England would go on to win the game 41-7.
On January 10, 2015, the two teams would meet in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Unlike the previous meeting, the Ravens put up a strong offensive performance, leading by 14 points twice in the game. However, Tom Brady would bring the Patriots back by attacking the Ravens vulnerable secondary and taking a 35-31 lead late in the 4th quarter. Joe Flacco would drive to the Patriots side of the field with under two minutes to play in regulation. However a key interception by Flacco due to a misplay on the ball by Torrey Smith essentially sealed the game in the Patriots favor to send them to 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. Art Modell admitted to ESPN's Roy Firestone that the Ravens' colors, introduced in early 1996, were inspired by the Northwestern Wildcats 1995 dream season. 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. They would again wear this combination on January 6, 2013, during the AFC Wild Card playoff and what turned out to be Ray Lewis' final home game, where they defeated the Indianapolis Colts 24-9.
From their inaugural season until 2006, the Ravens wore white cleats with their uniforms; they switched to black cleats in 2007.
On December 20, 2015, the team unexpectedly debuted gold pants for the first time, wearing them with their regular purple jerseys against the Kansas City Chiefs. Although gold is an official accent color of the Ravens, the pants got an overwhelmingly negative response on social media by both Ravens fans and fans of other NFL teams, with some comparisons being made to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers' pants.
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.
Players of note
Baltimore Ravens roster
| Offensive linemen
| Reserve lists
Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Mike Singletary, inducted in 1998 (as a linebacker), Linebacker's coach for Ravens 2003–2004
- Ozzie Newsome, inducted in 1999 (as a tight end), Ravens Front Office Executive Since 1996, General Manager since 2002, developed Super Bowl XLVII winners.
- 26 Rod Woodson, inducted in 2009, played for Ravens 1998–2001, won Super Bowl XXXV.
- 82 Shannon Sharpe, inducted in 2011, played for Ravens 2000–2001, won Super Bowl XXXV.
- 37 Deion Sanders, inducted in 2011, played for Ravens 2004–2005.
- 75 Jonathan Ogden, elected in 2013, played for Ravens 1996–2007, won Super Bowl XXXV.
The Ravens officially have no retired numbers. However, the number 19 is not issued out of respect for Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas, except for quarterback Scott Mitchell in his lone season in Baltimore in 1999. In addition, numbers 75, 52, and 20, in honor of Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed respectively, have not been issued since those players' retirements from football. The number 3 has been in very limited circulation (offseason only) in respect to former kicker Matt Stover.
Ring of Honor
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:
- 20 Ed Reed, inducted in 2015, played for Ravens 2002–2012.
- 86 Todd Heap, inducted in 2014, played for Ravens 2001–2010.
- 52 Ray Lewis, inducted in 2013, played for Ravens 1996–2012.
- 31 Jamal Lewis, inducted in 2012, played for Ravens 2000–2006.
- 3 Matt Stover, inducted in 2011, played for Ravens 1996–2008.
- 75 Jonathan Ogden, inducted in 2008, played for Ravens 1996–2007, 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
- 58 Peter Boulware, inducted in 2006, played for Ravens 1997–2005.
- 99 Michael McCrary, inducted in 2004, played for Ravens 1997–2002.
- Art Modell, inducted in 2004, majority owner 1996–2003.
- 8 former Baltimore Colts, inducted in 2002:
Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Art Donovan, Jim Parker, Raymond Berry, Ted Hendricks, John Mackey, and Gino Marchetti.
- 21 Earnest Byner, inducted in 2000, played for Ravens 1996–1997, coached for Ravens 1998–2003.
First round draft picks
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 4 offensive linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 wide receivers, 2 cornerbacks, 2 quarterbacks, a running back, tight end, safety, and defensive tackle. The Ravens have 56 combined Pro-Bowl appearances from their first-round draft picks.
- Most Passing Yards: Joe Flacco, 25,531 (2008–present)
- Most Passing Touchdowns: Joe Flacco, 161 (2008–present)
- Most Rushing Yards: Jamal Lewis, 7,801 (2000–2007)
- Most Rushing Touchdowns: Jamal Lewis, 45 (2000–2007)
- Most Receiving Yards: Derrick Mason, 5,777 (2005–2010)
- Most Receiving Touchdowns: Todd Heap, 41 (2001–2010)
- Most Tackles: Ray Lewis, 1,573 (1996–2012)
- Most Sacks: Terrell Suggs, 106.5 (2003–present)
- Most Interceptions: Ed Reed, 61 (2002–2012)
- Most Forced Fumbles: Terrell Suggs, 25 (2003–present)
- Most Field Goals: Matt Stover, 354 (1996–2008)
- Most Kick Return Yards: B.J. Sams, 3,161 (2004–2007)
- Most Kick Return Touchdowns: Jacoby Jones, 4 (2012–2014)
- Most Punt Return Yards: Jermaine Lewis, 2,730 (1996–2001)
- Most Punt Return Touchdowns: Jermaine Lewis, 6 (1996–2001)
- Most Postseason Touchdowns: Ray Rice (2008–2013) & Anquan Boldin (2010–2012), 6
- Most Postseason Interceptions: Ed Reed, 9 (2002–2012)
- Longest Field Goal Made: Justin Tucker, 61 yards (2012–present)
- Most Passing Yards: Vinny Testaverde, 4,177 (1996)
- Most Passing Touchdowns: Vinny Testaverde, 33 (1996)
- Most Rushing Yards: Jamal Lewis, 2,066 (2003)
- Most Rushing Touchdowns: Jamal Lewis, 14 (2003)
- Most Receiving Yards: Michael Jackson, 1,201 (1996)
- Most Receiving Touchdowns: Michael Jackson, 14 (1996)
- Most Sacks: Elvis Dumervil, 17 (2014)
- Most Interceptions: Ed Reed, 9 (2004 & 2008)
- Most Field Goals: Justin Tucker, 38 (2013)
Coaches of note
|3||John Harbaugh||2008–Present||139||83||56||0||.597||15||10||5||NFL Salute to Service Award (2013)|
Baltimore Ravens staff
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.
In terms of television broadcasting of regular season games, the Ravens' primary station is CBS O&O WJZ-TV, which began broadcasting the team's games in 1998, and has broadcast both of their Super Bowl victories. Interconference home games usually appear on WBFF-TV (Fox), and primetime games on WBAL-TV.
|Baltimore||1090 AM & 97.9 FM||WBAL & WIYY|
|Cambridge||1240 AM & 106.3 FM||WCEM & WCEM-FM|
|Lexington Park||97.7 FM||WMDM|
|Washington, D.C.||100.3 FM||WBIG-FM|
- "Naming Baltimore's Team: Ravens". Baltimore Ravens. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
- "Baltimore Ravens Team Capsule" (PDF). 2016 Official National Football League Record and Fact Book. National Football League. July 15, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- "Ravens Fight Song". Baltimore Ravens. August 25, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- "Under Armour Performance Center". Baltimore Ravens. August 19, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- "The Jaguars - NFL Relocations and the LA Stadium Plan". Metro Jacksonville. January 29, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
- Pedulla, Tom (January 6, 2013). "Poignant Day for the Face of a Franchise". The New York Times. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
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