If the 2000 and 2012 Ravens have anything in common it’s the undeniable magical seasons that they went through.
With February 3rd quickly approaching it’s hard to not draw comparisons between the two squads. Neither team was given a shot to make it to the big stage. And for both teams mid season the questions were whether or not the offenses could perform consistently enough under the brightest of lights.
Both teams proved that it doesn’t matter how outsiders view you, what matters is that you remain a team through it all. Each team resembled a family, there were no fingers being pointed for either team during their struggles. And both teams ended their respective seasons on magical runs beating the “unbeatable” on their way to making all of their childhood dreams come true by playing for the Lombardi trophy.
Jamal Lewis was the workhorse for the 2000 squad while the current Ravens have a gunslinger QB they have also relied heavily on the run game to stay balanced. And as Jamal was in SB XXXV, Ray Rice will be the key to controlling the line of scrimmage and keeping the ball on the Ravens court.
According to Ray Lewis “When you think about this team and the 2000 team, the kinds of things you see is we have a great mix of it all,” said Lewis. “We have youth, we have athleticism, we have wisdom, we have leadership — we have it at all different levels. That’s kind of the thing we had in 2000 that was very, very special.”
Ozzie Newsome has also mentioned how both memorable teams did any and everything they were asked to do by their head coach as they were determined to win at all costs. The physicality and the bend but not break mentality that was instilled in 2000 is still here in 2012. Although that physical toughness and hard hitting nowadays often leads to yellow flags due to the softened league instead of being highlighted on Jacked Up.
Of course each team has their differences as well, the 2000 group went through a stretch of five games without scoring a TD while the 2012 Ravens set a franchise scoring record with 398 points.
The 2000 team had their own franchise record season as well however it was on the opposite side of the ball. The defensive group set NFL records for least amount of points and rushing yards allowed in a season, giving up just a mere 165 points and 970 yards.
And due to an overwhelming amount of injuries suffered for the 2012 defense they fell out of the top 10 in yards allowed for the first time since 2002. Even with this the physicality and fierceness didn’t change, the Ravens remained one of the most feared teams in the league.
I remember fondly the first trip to the Super Bowl and I have to say there is definitely more of a buzz in the air this time around. Maybe it’s the ever growing use of social media and the increasing amount of media outlets including B’more Chix and the Russell Street throwing every bit of information at you. Then there’s also Facebook and Twitter encouraging fans to voice their opinions. And these outlets are giving fans the ability to stay even more connected to not only other fans but to players as well no matter where they live.
Putting all of the comparisons aside it’s been 12 years since we as fans have be able to experience this ride and no matter what part of the world you live in it’s time to join together. Whether you’re heading down to the Bayou or just filling your home with an insane amount of purple décor it’s time to celebrate this momentous occasion.
This is our time Ravens Nation to embrace the moment; we don’t know when we will make it here again.
Embrace the underdog role, embrace the Raven way, and embrace all of Baltimore!