After a season filled with highs and lows, the Baltimore Ravens are set to enter the postseason for the first time since 2014. As the Ravens gear up to enter the playoffs, there are many things that old and new fans of the team alike may not know about the Ravens and the playoffs. Here are five facts every Baltimore Ravens fan should know about the Ravens and the postseason.
The Baltimore Ravens boast the best postseason record in the NFL. Since the team’s inception in 1996, the Baltimore Ravens have played in a grand total of 23 playoff games in 10 playoff appearances (not counting this year’s appearance). The team’s overall record in the postseason is 15-8, which converts into a .652 or 65.2% win rate. Baltimore’s record is helped by the fact that the Ravens won two Super Bowls in those ten playoff journies, which eliminated two losses and added to the win total. Head coach John Harbaugh is also the winningest Ravens coach in the postseason. His record in the postseason is 10-5 (.667), and former head coach Brian Billick’s record is 5-3 (.625). The second highest win percentage in the NFL playoffs belongs to the New England Patriots. New England wins 63% of the time, with 34 wins and 20 losses. The Cincinnati Bengals are the worst playoff team in the NFL. Baltimore’s fierce rival only wins 26.3% of the time, with an overall record of 5-14. The Bengals have not won a playoff game since the 1990-1991 season.
The all-time Ravens classic game, the 2012-2013 postseason divisional round game between the Ravens and Broncos, is the fourth-longest playoff game of all time. Overtime rules are slightly altered in the playoffs. In the regular season, a tie is possible, but because of the win-and-advance nature of the tournament, the playoffs require a winner, and games can linger on for a while. The Ravens tied the score and forced overtime by virtue of the “Mile High Miracle”. Neither team was able to claim victory in the first overtime period, so the game was forced to go into a sixth period of play. The Ravens finally ended the game with 13:29 remaining in the double overtime, when Justin Tucker converted a 47-yard field goal into a win. The game lasted a grand total of 76 minutes and 42 seconds. It was the longest playoff game since 1987 when the Browns and Jets played for 77 minutes and 2 seconds. The all-time longest postseason matchup took place in 1971. The game between the Chiefs and Dolphins dragged on for 82 minutes and 40 seconds.
The longest pass completion in playoff history belongs to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens’ historic run to the Super Bowl in 2000 is mostly characterized by the team’s dominant defense. However, quarterback Trent Dilfer and tight end Shannon Sharpe combined for an NFL record in the AFC Championship game. On 3rd and 18, Trent Dilfer took the snap from Baltimore’s own 4-yard line. He found the Hall of Fame tight end on the slant route. Sharpe quickly picked up speed and outran the defense on his way to the end zone. The pass completion went for 96 yards and gave the Ravens their only touchdown on the day. The play surpassed the previous record, Troy Aikman’s 94-yard connection with Alvin Harper in the 1994 NFC divisional round playoff game between the Cowboys and Packers. Baltimore would win the game 16-3, and advance to the Super Bowl.
The Baltimore Ravens have played to win two Lombardi trophies in their short history, and both games were broadcasted on CBS. The first came in Super Bowl XXXV. After a remarkable campaign in the 2000-2001 season, the Ravens ran the table in the playoffs to meet the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. The Ravens defeated New York 34-7. Coincidentally, the CBS broadcast team consisted of Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms, the former Giants quarterback. Simms, a two time Super Bowl champion, won his second title with the Giants in Super Bowl XXV in the 1990-1991 season. Not only was the game exactly ten years and one day prior to Baltimore’s win against his former team, but it was in the same city as well, Tampa Bay, Florida. Simms returned to the broadcast booth when the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, this time paired up with Jim Nantz. CBS will again broadcast this year’s Super Bowl, with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo in the booth. The two have covered the Ravens extensively in recent weeks. The pair covered the Ravens in Week 13, 14 and 17. Nantz and Romo on CBS are also slated to broadcast Baltimore’s Wild Card round matchup against the Chargers.
The Baltimore Ravens are the only team in the NFL to appear in multiple Super Bowls and currently have a perfect record in the game. The Ravens are 2-0 in Super Bowl appearances, and while there are three other undefeated teams in the Super Bowl, each has only appeared in one. The New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all fall into this category. The two teams the Ravens defeated in Baltimore’s Super Bowl appearances, were both undefeated in the big game at the time before falling to the Ravens. The New York Giants entered Super Bowl XXXV with a perfect 2-0 record, and the San Fransisco 49ers boasted a spectacular 5-0 record in Super Bowls. Both teams entered the game undefeated, but neither could keep the perfect win percentage alive. If the Ravens made the Super Bowl, Baltimore could see the heavily favorited potential NFC winner in the New Orleans Saints. The Saints, as stated above, are 1-0 in their only Super Bowl appearance. A Ravens win over the Saints in Super Bowl LIII would make the Ravens 3-0 in Super Bowls against teams with perfect records in the most watched sporting event in America.