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Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV Defense Tops Broncos' Super Bowl 50 Defense


Less than 24 hours after the Broncos defense led Denver to the Super Bowl 50 title, the comparisons began.

"After Sunday, I think I can say without hesitation that Denver's defense compares favorably to the 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense as one of the best in the Super Bowl era," wrote's Pat Kirwan.

Broncos front-office leader John Elway said "that’s the best defense I’ve ever seen," and Denver cornerback Chris Harris declared it the "best of all-time."

Denver's defense was smothering. Behind a ferocious pass rush, it didn't allow Panthers regular-season MVP quarterback Cam Newton to get in sync.

But the statistics show that Denver's defensive Super Bowl 50 performance doesn't compare to the Ravens' defensive performance in Super Bowl XXXV.

Here's a look:

Denver's defense vs. Panthers (Super Bowl 50)

  • Net yards allowed: 315
  • Offensive points allowed: 10
  • Passing yards allowed: 197
  • Rushing yards allowed: 118
  • Sacks: 7
  • Defensive touchdowns: 1
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Fumbles recovered: 3

Ravens' defense vs. Giants (Super Bowl XXXV)

  • Net yards allowed: 152
  • Offensive points allowed: 0 (Giants' seven points came on a kickoff return TD)
  • Passing yards allowed: 86
  • Rushing yards allowed: 66
  • Sacks: 4
  • Defensive touchdowns: 1
  • Interceptions: 4
  • Fumbles recovered: 1

An argument can be made that the Panthers had a better offense than the 2000 Giants. The Panthers were first in the NFL in points per game (31.3) and 11th in yards per game (366.9) during the regular season. In 2000, the Giants were 15th in points per game (20.5) and 13th in yards per game (336.0).

However, the Giants offense was hot coming into Super Bowl XXXV. New York had beaten the Minnesota Vikings, 41-0, in the NFC championship game.

Denver pass rusher Von Miller was named the Super Bowl MVP Sunday night after notching two forced fumbles (one on the goal line that was recovered for a touchdown and one in a late fourth-quarter stop).

Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was the Super Bowl MVP after notching five tackles and a pass deflection that led to one interception. Lewis was at Super Bowl 50 and got to see the Broncos defense up close.

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