Today, I began a five part series in which I plan to unveil the 20 greatest games in Baltimore Ravens franchise history. As noted in the first article, these games were selected because of importance and significance.
In order to qualify and be on the list, the games had to meet the following criteria. First, the game had to be important to the outcome of the season in terms of winning a division title, playoff game or in two instances, the Super Bowl.
Second, if the game made the list and did not meet the first criteria, then it must still have some sort of relevance in team history. Examples of that would be if a player broke an NFL record (there’s a hint), or the Ravens did something as a team that stands to this very minute.
Lastly, I decided the order and while I’m sure you may or may not disagree on exactly where each of these games belong, one thing I think we can all agree on is the fact that happened at all.
Before I give you numbers 16-13, let us recap 20-17.
No. 20 September 1, 1996: The Return of the NFL to Baltimore: Football returns to Baltimore after 13 seasons. Vinny Testaverde scores first ever touchdown as Baltimore Ravens defeat Oakland Raider 19-14
No.19 November 29, 1998: The Colts Return to Baltimore: Former Indianapolis Colts QB and current Ravens QB, Jim Harbaugh lives up to his nickname of Captain Comeback as he led the Ravens back from a 24-10 deficit to beat rookie Colts QB, Peyton Manning 38-31. Following the game, Harbaugh delivered the game ball to Baltimore’s greatest all-time signal caller, Johnny Unitas as he watched the victory from the Ravens sidelines.
No. 18 September 10, 2000: Ravens Get First Ever Victory over Jaguars: Ravens QB Tony Banks throws five touchdown passes, including the final one to new Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe with 35 seconds to play to give the Ravens a 39-36 come from behind win. This win was significant on two fronts. The Ravens and Jags played in the same division at the time and this was the first ever win over Jacksonville. The victory also gave the Ravens their first 2-0 start in their brief five-year history. It also help set the tone for a year that culminated with the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl Championship
No. 17 October 3, 2010: Flacco Finally Wins a Big One in Pittsburg: Ravens QB Joe Flacco get his first big win in the Steele City in come from behind fashion as he hit TJ Houshmandzadeh with 33 seconds to play to give the Ravens a 17-14 come from behind win.
As you can also see, any win over Pittsburgh, regardless of season relevance or significant contribution to team history is apt to make the list as well. This installment has two games from the 2003 season and two games form the Super Bowl winning season of 2000. So without further ado, here are the next four games to make the list.
BY THE WAY, THE RING PICTURED ABOVE IS A FAKE.........
On Monday, @RavensNation on Twitter posted a picture of what was the design for Baltimore’s Super Bowl XLVII ring. It featured two Lombardi trophies with the Ravens logo in the middle and “World Champions” engraved on the side.
The tweet was quickly deleted as it was discovered that this was just a mockup using the Patriots Super Bowl XXXVIII ring with the Ravens design from Super Bowl XXXV. Not a bad photoshop job, but clearly a fake.