Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/29/11

Longer than a decade ago, the Baltimore Ravens hoisted the Lambardi Trophy in the 2000-2001 NFL season, and did it with the same tenacity and relentlessness that they still show today. I want to bring this very memorable team back to light, and do a little comparison with the Ravens of today.

Today, the Baltimore Ravens are synonymous with defense and the 2000 Super Bowl team were the pioneers and helped solidify the art of defense in Baltimore. With the likes of Ray Lewis, Rod Woodson, Peter Boulware, and Chris McAlister, the Baltimore Ravens dominated teams defensively only giving up 60-yards per game and forced 26 fumbles throughout the year. This defense put fear in the eyes of their opponents and is known as one of the best defenses of all-time.

In the 2000 playoffs, Baltimore did not allow a team to score more than 10 points, Tennessee scored 10 in the Divisional game, and held Denver and Oakland to only 3 points in the Wild Card and AFC Championship games. The Ravens defeated the Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV, and the Giants lone touchdown came on a kick return by Ron Dixson. The Baltimore defense was out on a mission, and they carried this team to the Promised Land.

Offensively, the Ravens of 2000 are very similar to Ravens of today. The team of 2000 had struggles at the quarterback position, making the change from Tony Banks to Trent Dilfer in the middle of the season. Jamal Lewis was a rookie the year the Ravens won the Super Bowl and he had an amazing season rushing for almost 1,364-yards and 6 touchdowns. Lewis also was awarded the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year this season; as he went on to have a great career for the Ravens. Reliable weapons on the outside with Qadry Ismail and Brandon Stokley. The one thing that really sets the 2000 Ravens offense apart from the Ravens of 2011 is the legendary Shannon Sharpe, who led the Ravens in receiving.

This Ravens team was a veryunique team, but they found a way to make it work. The defense completely out-shined the offense during their Super Bowl run, but the Ravens of today are a little more closely compared on both sides of the ball. It is obvious that the offense is still the weak link in Baltimore, but I believe the offense on today’s team has a chance to make more of an impact then the team of 2000.

Position for position (minus O-Line), comparing the two teams, who has the better team?

 

QB: Joe Flacco vs. Trent Dilfer/Tony Banks

RB: Ray Rice vs. Jamal Lewis

TE: Ed Dickson vs. Shannon Sharpe

WR: Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith vs. Brandon Stokley and Qadry Ismail

DL: (Redding, Cody, and Ngata) vs. (Burnett, Siragusa, Adams, and McCrary)

LB: (Suggs, Lewis, McClain, and Johnson) vs. (Lewis, Boulware, and Sharper)

Secondary: (Webb, Pollard, Reed, Williams) vs. (McAlister, Starks, Woodson, and Herring)

K: Stover vs. Cundiff

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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