An Ode To Trent Dilfer, The Unheralded Champion


The 2000 Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl because of the best defense the NFL had ever seen. They leaned heavily on rookie running back, Jamal Lewis and the offense was functional at best. Trent Dilfer was not a great quarterback, but his important place in Ravens history should not be forgotten.

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Before Dilfer became the starter there was Tony Banks. Just writing that name is enough to make Ravens fans cringe. The Ravens went five consecutive games in the 2000 season without scoring a touchdown. Brian Billick knew he had to make a change so he benched Banks and gave Dilfer the job.

The offense went from non-existent to functional. The Ravens went on a roll. After losing the first game he started, Dilfer would never lose another game with the Ravens. The Ravens won 11 games in a row, ending with a Super Bowl championship.

The next season, the Ravens replaced Dilfer with Elvis Grbac.It felt wrong at the time, it still feels wrong today. Grbac was an awful quarterback for the Ravens, he clearly was not an upgrade. The Ravens are the only Super Bowl Champion to part ways with their starting quarterback.

Dilfer deserves some respect from Ravens fans. He stabilized an unstable offense. With Banks under center a historically great defense could have gone to waste. Dilfer was a game manager who made some key big plays. I’m not saying that Baltimore should revere him like they do Johnny Unitas, but Dilfer should be appreciated.

Dilfer was a leader that the players worked well with. Chemistry plays a big role in a championship push. In the Ravens run to the Super Bowl, Dilfer was the missing piece to the “Festivus Maximus” formula. He may not have been great but he was good for the Ravens.

I’ll always remember Dilfer fondly as the quarterback of the Ravens first Super Bowl team. He is an unheralded champion and a class act. I just wanted to say something that the Ravens probably neglected to tell Dilfer, its just two words “Thank You.”