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Best Underdog Moments in Ravens History

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By: Michael O’Nair

The NFL is a US passion and one of the world’s most hyped and celebrated pro sports competitions, and not just because of the high quality of play and the presence of superstars. No matter how strong a team is in the NFL, you know that there will always be upsets and surprises throughout an NFL season, in fact, you can bet on the underdogs having their day.

As any gambler will tell you, whether you are looking for free casino games that pay real money or the best in NFL markets, everyone is hoping to find a way to beat the odds. Picking a team that consistently punches above its weight and overachieves expectation can be a great way to get that advantage, and no team better exemplifies the successful underdog more clearly than Baltimore.

The Baltimore Ravens joined the NFL in 1996 and in their short history, have had many memorable moments in their history, reaching the playoffs 14 times since 2000, winning two Super Bowls and six Divisional titles. Here are just six highlights that exemplify the never-say-die spirit of the Ravens and their consistent ability to upset the odds:

The first win, 1996

In 1996, the Ravens played their first-ever game as a franchise, facing the Oakland Raiders, and a crowd of over 64,000 packed into Memorial Stadium to witness the occasion.

Despite being the new kids on the block, and widely predicted to struggle, the Ravens won the game 19-14, marking the beginning of a new era and registering the first of many underdog successes. Although they went on to have a losing record that season, they have been one of the NFL’s most successful franchises, ranking third in the all-time list for win percentage.

 Super Bowl run part 1, 2000

The Ravens faced the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional round of the 2000 playoffs and were considered to be big underdogs. However, not for the first time, the Baltimore brand of football proved too much for their highly rated opponents to cope with. The Ravens won the game 24-10, as their impressive defense forced five turnovers, setting the tone for the team’s first Super Bowl.

Super Bowl run part 2, 2001

After their win over the Titans, the Ravens beat the Raiders to clinch the Conference title but going into Super Bowl XXXV they were the heavy underdogs against the New York Giants. As Ravens teams have shown many times over, being the underdog means nothing. In their first Super Bowl appearance, Baltimore dominated the Giants with a suffocating defense and won the game 34-7, earning the first of two Super Bowls in franchise history.

The Mile High miracle, 2013

In 2013, the Ravens faced the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in the Divisional round and were not expected to beat a team that had taken them apart during the regular season.

The game was tight throughout, but the Broncos appeared to have it won midway through the fourth quarter when they took a 35-28 lead. With seconds remaining, quarterback Joe Flacco threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones to level the game and push the play into overtime. The game eventually went to a second period of overtime before the Ravens sealed it.

AFC Championship game, 2013

The Ravens faced the New England Patriots and Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game, with many considering the Patriots to be the clear favorite. New England had beaten the Ravens in a closely fought game a year earlier, and this game, at Gillette Stadium, was expected to go the same way.

It didn’t quite turn out like that. The Ravens pulled off a 28-13 upset victory, securing their spot in Super Bowl XLVII, where they would eventually beat the San Francisco 49ers in a thrilling game.

Big statement on opening day

The Ravens had finished 8-8 in the previous season and when they kicked off 2017, an injury depleted line-up was not expected to beat the Cincinnati Bengals. Ravens fans might have hoped that their team would stay in the game for as long as possible. What they got instead was a demolition of the Bengals as complete as any seen in the NFL that season.

Baltimore won 20-0, shutting out the Bengals with a performance that included five turnovers, five sacks of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and a running game that took ten minutes off the clock in a single series. The lesson had once again been delivered: never write off the Ravens!

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Originally posted on Russell Street Report