2000 Baltimore Ravens season


2000 Baltimore Ravens season

Infobox NFL_season
team = Baltimore Ravens
year = 2000
record = 12-4
division_place = 2nd in AFC Central
coach = Brian Billick
stadium = PSINet Stadium
pro bowlers = 5
playoffs = Won Wild Card Playoffs (Broncos) 21-3
Won Divisional Playoffs (Titans) 24-10
Won AFC Championship (Raiders) 16-3
Won Super Bowl XXXV (Giants) 34-7

The Baltimore Ravens concluded the 2000 NFL season with a 12-4 record, good for second place in the AFC central, and earning them a spot in the playoffs as a wild card entrant. The Ravens won three straight games in the AFC playoffs, culminating in a trip to Tampa for the Super Bowl, where they defeated the New York Giants, 34-7, to win their first championship.

The Ravens spent most of the off-season concerned with the status of their star linebacker Ray Lewis, who along with two other acquaintances, was arrested and charged with murder after an incident outside of an Atlanta nightclub on January 31, 2000. On June 5, a plea bargain was struck, and murder and aggravated assault charges were dropped in exchange for testimony against his companions. Lewis pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice and was sentenced to a year of probation.

The Ravens started the season with a 5-1 start, with three of their victories coming by shutout. Despite the great play of the defense, the offense hit a major swoon after the first month of the season. Following a 37-0 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens would not score a touchdown for five consecutive games. The Ravens won the first two of these games thanks to their defense, but lost the next three, including a critical division loss at home to the Titans. During this game, quarterback Tony Banks was benched in favor of Trent Dilfer, who would take over for the rest of the season. After a loss at home to Pittsburgh, the Ravens broke both their touchdown-less streak and losing streak against the Bengals the next week. It would be the first of seven straight wins to end the season.

The Ravens finished one game behind the Tennessee Titans in the AFC central, so the Ravens had to begin their playoff run at home in the wild card round against the Broncos. The team cruised to a 21-3 victory, setting up a date with the Titans the following week in Nashville. The Ravens prevailed 24-10, thanks to linebacker Ray Lewis' 50 yard interception return for a touchdown that put the game away. The team then traveled to Oakland to meet the Raiders for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, and the Ravens advanced to their first, 16-3, as the defense held Oakland, the league's top rushing offense during the season, to just 24 yards rushing. The Ravens easily defeated the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, 34-7, as Ray Lewis led another dominant performance by the defense and was named most valuable player of the game for his efforts.

The Ravens relied heavily on their defense, which set several records during the 2000 season, including fewest points allowed during a 16-game season (165) and fewest rushing yards allowed (970). The defense finished the season number one overall in both yards allowed and points allowed, and Ray Lewis was named defensive player of the year by the Associated Press. Starting cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Duane Starks combined to intercept ten passes, and defensive end Rob Burnett contributed with 10.5 sacks. The defense is thought of as one of the greatest ever. Offensively, the Ravens relied heavily on the running game. Rookie running back Jamal Lewis led the way with 1364 yards and veteran Priest Holmes added 588 yards. The passing game was rather pedestrian (23rd in yards passing), but Trent Dilfer brought stability to the position when he took over for Tony Banks mid-season. Tight end Shannon Sharpe, acquired as an unrestricted free agent from Denver during the offseason, was the team's leading pass receiver with 67 catches for 810 yards. Punt returner Jermaine Lewis scored two touchdowns on punt returns during the season, and ran back a kickoff in the Super Bowl, while placekicker Matt Stover made 35 field goals on 39 attempts.

2000 NFL Draft

Postseason Schedule

Awards

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Four players represented the Ravens in the Pro Bowl: Lewis joined defensive tackle Sam Adams, safety Rod Woodson, and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden. Kicker Matt Stover joined Lewis and Ogden on the associated press' All-Pro first team. Defensive end Rob Burnett joined Adams and Woodson on the AP All-Pro second team.

*Sam Adams, AFC Pro Bowl Selection, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 362 ]
*Brian Billick, USA Today AFC Coach of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Trent Dilfer, Football Digest Comeback Player of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Jamal Lewis, USA Today Offensive Rookie of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Marvin Lewis, Football Digest Assistant Coach of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Marvin Lewis, Pro Football Writers Association Assistant Coach of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Marvin Lewis, USA Today AFC Assistant Coach of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Ray Lewis, Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Ray Lewis, Football Digest Defensive Player of the Year, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Ray Lewis, Pro Football Writers Association Defensive Most Valuable Player, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Jonathan Ogden, AFC Pro Bowl Selection, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 362 ]
*Matt Stover, Golden Toe Award [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 201 ]
*Rod Woodson, AFC Pro Bowl Selection, [ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 362 ]

References

1. [http://www.databasefootball.com/teams/teamyear.htm?tm=BAL&lg=nfl&yr=2000]
2. [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/rav2000.htm]
3. [http://www.footballdb.com/teamrost.html?tm=3&yr=2000]
4. [http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-ravens-oldschedule,0,884655.htmlstory?coll=bal-football-storyutil&?track=sto-relcon]
5. [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/news/2000/06/04/lewis_agreement/]


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