Baltimore Ravens Flashback: 2000 AFC Championship


The Baltimore Ravens just lost to the Oakland Raiders. It seems like a good time to bring up better memories against Oakland…

It’s been a rough week in Baltimore. The Ravens lost at home, in a game against the Raiders that they really should have won. The Orioles lost the wild card match up to Toronto. Zach Britton is missing. At least, I assume he’s missing because there’s no other valid explanation of why he wasn’t pitching last night. Sorry, I know this is a football site. Let’s not dwell in the past. Well, let’s dwell way further in the past. 15 years, to be exact. A much happier time

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January 14, 2001. The sky is clear, the temperature a brisk 55 degrees. The New York Giants just walloped the Minnesota Vikings 41-0 a few hours earlier. The Ravens have traveled to the Coliseum for the 2000 AFC Championship game against the Oakland Raiders.

This wasn’t a high scoring shootout, rather, it was a defensive chess match. Both teams were waiting for the other to make a mistake. Late in the first, Ravens defensive back Robert Bailey intercepts Raiders QB Rich Gannon in their own territory. The Ravens are unable to move the ball and kicker Matt Stover has a rare miss as his 36-yard field goal attempt glances off the right upright. Say what you will about the Ravens, they have a knack for finding great kickers.

After a 3-and-out by the Raiders, the Ravens were pinned back deep in their own territory. It was 3rd and 18 on their own 4 when Shannon Sharpe caught a short pass and took it to the house for a 96 yard touchdown. The Ravens are up 7-0.

Shortly after the Ravens’ touchdown, Rich Gannon is absolutely leveled by defensive lineman Tony Siracusa and is knocked out of the game. Backup Bobby Hoying’s very first pass is intercepted and returned to Oakland’s 20. This set up Stover’s second attempt, which was good. Ravens are up 10-0 and things are looking pretty good as we go into halftime.

After the half, Oakland DB Johnnie Harris intercepts a pass from Trent Dilfer. The Raiders drive all the way to the 2 yard-line and quickly learn why the Ravens’ defense is so legendary. Following a -1 yard rush, a sack, and an incomplete pass, the Raiders have to settle for a field goal. Those would be their only points of the game. This was truly one of the more impressive goal line stands in the history of the NFL.

In total, the Ravens forced 4 interceptions and held the Raiders to less than 200 total yards. It was a great day. We all know what went down just two weeks later, when the Ravens defense trounced the New York Giants and we got our first Lombardi just four years after coming to town.

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Obviously this match up against the Raiders didn’t go our way, so hopefully a little bit of reliving the past, remembering a time when we crushed them when it really mattered helps to ease the pain of a tough loss.