Baltimore Ravens History
Baltimore Ravens - Team History

Baltimore Ravens, professional football team and one of six teams in the Central Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) of the National Football League (NFL). Under the league’s realignment plan, which will take affect in 2002, the Ravens will play in the North Division of the AFC. The Ravens play at PSINet Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, and wear uniforms of black, purple, and gold. The team is named after a poem entitled “The Raven” (1845) by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, who lived in Baltimore during the 1830s.

Baltimore was home to the Baltimore Colts (now Indianapolis Colts) from 1953 through 1983. The Ravens’ franchise was founded after the 1995 NFL season, when Arthur B. Modell, owner of the Cleveland Browns, moved his team from Cleveland, Ohio, to Baltimore and renamed it the Ravens. (In 1999 a new Browns franchise began play in Cleveland.) Modell brought to Baltimore a roster of veteran stars, including quarterback Vinny Testaverde and running back Earnest Byner. He also hired former Baltimore Colts head coach Ted Marchibroda to lead the new Baltimore team. Marchibroda had produced three consecutive Eastern Division titles for the Colts in the mid-1970s, but coaching the Ravens proved difficult. Despite fielding a potent offense, the franchise struggled defensively and finished at the bottom of the Central Division in 1996 and 1997. Testaverde left following the 1997 season and signed as a free agent with the New York Jets. After finishing the 1998 season with 6 wins and 10 losses, the Ravens hired Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Brian Billick as head coach.

Through shrewd draft picks and free agent signings, the Ravens rebuilt their team around a standout defense. The team was led by linebacker Ray Lewis, who became one of the leading tacklers and top defenders in the NFL. The Ravens’ defense gave up a record-low 165 points during the 2000 season, then allowed just 23 points in the postseason, including a 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

2001 Super Bowl XXXV Defeated New York Giants, 34-7

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