The 2001 Baltimore Ravens: My Favorite Team of All-Time

Aaron SchwartzCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

28 Jan 2001:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens gets congradulated after the Super Bowl XXXV Game against the New York Giants at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Ravens defeated the Giants 34-7.Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons  /Allsport

The 2001 Baltimore Ravens were the champions of Superbowl XXXV, and also the team that got me to follow football thoroughly.

I remember watching that season with my uncle, who was in the hospital at the time. Every Sunday I would visit him, and we would watch the Ravens play. I was young at the time, and I really did not know much about football—only that the Ravens were my home team and they were not that good.

Nobody expected the Ravens to accomplish what they did that year, and this is evident by the video games of that year. In the NFL Blitz game for that season, the Baltimore Ravens were given the worst possible ranking for defense. Needless to say, that was not quite accurate.

Even when the Ravens made the playoffs that year, no one expected them to really have a shot at a Superbowl championship. It was enough of a shock that they came away with a win in the wild card round, when they dominated the Broncos 21-3.

Then, they had to go to their division rivals the Tennessee Titans. The Titans had gone 13-3 in the regular season and were expected to win the game easily. But after a blocked field goal was returned for a touchdown by Anthony Mitchell, the Ravens took the lead, and then Ray Lewis secured the win with an interception return for a touchdown.

The Ravens then were dominate against the Raiders for the AFC title, as they only allowed three points in the game, and they knocked out Rich Gannon early on. After the performance, the Ravens were ready to go to the Superbowl to face the New York Giants.

The game was just as easy as the past one, as the Ravens won 34-7 by forcing five turnovers. The most memorable moments of the game were, undoubtedly, the three touchdowns in twenty seconds. Duane Starks returned an interception for a touchdown, then on the kickoff Ron Dixon returned the ball for a touchdown. Immediately after on the next kickoff, Jermaine Lewis scored another touchdown, to cap off the 21-point series with twenty seconds coming off the clock.

The improbability of the Ravens Super Bowl win was enormous. It brought life to the city of Baltimore, and led me to follow football.