2000 Ravens vs. 2012 Ravens: Offensive EditionPosted on June 24, 2014 by Phil Gentile
The Ravens organization has delivered two Super Bowl victories to Baltimore in their short existence. The debate that we always hear at the bar or around the water cooler is which squad was better. Has anyone ever done a position-by-position comparison of the two teams? I'm too lazy to Google it so I decided I would just write my own post, comparing the Ravens 2000 championship team with the 2012 version. This week we'll cover the offense and next week we'll tackle the defense.
Trent Dilfer vs. Joe Flacco
In our first matchup, two former 1st round picks go head-to-head.
After leaving Baltimore, Dilfer never had more than 11 touchdown passes in his following seven seasons in the league. Let's be honest....he caught fire down the stretch for the Ravens and basically was the original "game manager", playing opposite one of the best defenses of all time.
Flacco's playoff run was much more impressive. He finished the 2012 playoffs with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. While the Ravens defense was good that season it finished 17th in the league in yards allowed per game. Flacco had to do more to win games.
While the Ravens wouldn't have made their first playoff run without Dilfer they wouldn't have won their second Super Bowl without Flacco.
Winner: Joe Flacco
Jamal Lewis vs. Ray Rice
Wow this one is tough!
Lewis played his first seven NFL seasons here in Baltimore and for a large majority of that time was the focal point of the offense. A dominant running game and stingy defense was what defined the Ravens franchise for the first decade of their existance and Jamal Lewis was a big part of that. He rushed for 2,066 yards in 2003.
Rice is one of the best multi-faceted weapons in Ravens history. He has 369 career receptions, which is just eight fewer catches than Anquan Boldin and Qadry Ismail had COMBINED during their time here in Baltimore. Despite his regular season stats he's struggled at times in the playoffs, only rushing for 100+ yards in two of the twelve games and fumbling six times.
Even though it was a short span of time, few running backs have been as dominate as Jamal Lewis was during his time here in Baltimore. His lack of passing catching ability is overshadowed by his ability to literally run through people.
Winner: Jamal Lewis
Qadry Ismail/Travis Taylor/Brandon Stokley vs. Anquan Boldin/Torrey Smith/Jacoby Jones
Let's be honest.....the 2000 Ravens boasted some good, not great, receivers. Qadry never made a Pro Bowl, Travis Taylor was a huge bust, and Stokley was nothing more than a slow possession receiver.
Would the Ravens have even made it to the Super Bowl without Jacoby Jones and the "Mile High Miracle"?
Or Boldin's block against the Chargers during Ray Rice's 4th and 29 play? What's scary is that Torrey Smith might have more potential for great things going forward than either of those guys.
Stop the fight. This one isn't close!!!
Winner: 2012 Ravens
Shannon Sharpe vs. Dennis Pitta
The addition of ex Bronco Shannon Sharpe is what turned the 2000 Ravens into a serious playoff contender. Even though he only played two seasons here in Baltimore, the Hall of Famer provided a consistent weapon on a team that was mainly known for their defense. He was also able to provide a media distraction for his teammates in the wake of the Ray Lewis trial.
Dennis Pitta, a former 4th round pick out of BYU, had become one of Joe Flacco's favorite targets during the 2012 season. Had hauled in three touchdown passes during the 2012 playoffs, including one in the Super Bowl.
While Sharpe only caught six passes during the 2000 playoff run, his presence as arguably one of the best tight ends in NFL history can't be ignored. Pitta has a way to go to match Sharpe's 815 career receptions.
Winner: Shannon Sharpe
Jonathan Ogden/Edwin Mulitalo/Jeff Mitchell/Mike Flynn/Harry Swayne
Bryant McKinnie/Kelechi Osemele/Matt Birk/Marshal Yanda/Michael Oher
Does Ogden single-handedly make the 2000 edition of the Ravens o-line better? Let's take a look. Ogden was the first player ever drafted by the Ravens organization and a constant at left tackle for twelve seasons. Need more proof?
- 11x Pro Bowler
- Ravens Ring of Honor
- Gebco spokesman
Ogden left the game quietly, much like former Ravens center Matt Birk did. Birk was the veteran presence on an offensive line that we saw the following season was really not that good. At least not as at the 2000 version that allowed Jamal Lewis to rush for 1,300+ yards in his rookie year. Similar to the numbers Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce put up in 2012 so this one is really a toss up.
Winner: 2000 Ravens
Ok right now the 2000 Ravens have a slight 3-2 lead over the 2012 champs but this is still either team's game! Next week I will dive into the defensive side of the ball, as well as the coaching staffs. See ya next week!