On this date 12 years ago, the Ravens won the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.
As they’re on the verge of getting a second, let’s take a look back at the five top memories from Super Bowl XXXV:
1.) Dilfer To Stokley
The Ravens offense hadn’t been the strength of the team all season. But it struck quickly in the first quarter as Dilfer threaded a perfect 38-yard pass over wide receiver Brandon Stokley’s shoulder. Stokley beat New York Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn, who dragged him down but not before Stokley reached the end zone. The Ravens took a 7-0 lead, and with the way it was playing on defense, it looked as if it could be enough.
Ray Lewis was at the top of his game, and it was evident from the start. The Giants had a strong running game spearheaded by a young, explosive Tiki Barber. New York tried to establish the ground game early, but Lewis sent a clear message that it wasn’t going to work. Lewis tracked down Barber on an outside run, leapt and pulled Barber hard to the turf. It’s one of Lewis’ signature career hits.
3.) Defense Starts To Dominate
After its first score, the Ravens offense wasn’t having much success. Cornerback Duane Starks picked up the slack, however, intercepting a pass and returning it 49 yards for the Ravens’ second touchdown to give Baltimore a commanding 17-0 lead. It was one of four interceptions thrown by Giants quarterback Kerry Collins. Cornerback Chris McAlister, linebacker Jamie Sharper and safety Kim Herring got the other picks.
4.) Back-to-back Kickoff Returns
Starks’ interception began a crazy series of events that will probably never be duplicated in the Super Bowl. The Ravens kicked the ball off after Starks’ return, but Ron Dixon took it 97 yards for a touchdown to close the score to 17-7 and make it a game again. Baltimore responded in a hurry. Jermaine Lewis returned the next kickoff 84 yards to essentially put the nail in the coffin. It was three touchdowns scored in a span of 36 seconds.
5) Ray Lewis, Art Modell Hug
Lewis went through a turbulent Super Bowl as he was grilled by the media. That all seemed to dissolve away when the confetti was falling on Lewis’ head and he hugged Owner Art Modell. The two embraced as Lewis was announced as the Super Bowl MVP.