4. The Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV to give Baltimore its first NFL championship in 30 years
The game was a final loud statement from a defense that had convincingly staked its claim as one of the NFL’s best ever as the Ravens won 34-7 over the New York Giants. They would have recorded the first shutout in Super Bowl history had it not been for a kickoff returned for a touchdown in the third quarter.
The signature moment in the game came in the third quarter after the Giants narrowed the deficit to 17-7 and kicked off to Maryland product Jermaine Lewis. Still mourning a stillborn son from a month earlier, Lewis streaked 84 yards down the sideline to make it a 17-point game and end any whispers of a New York comeback.
Baltimore picked off Giants quarterback Kerry Collins four times and Ray Lewis earned Super Bowl MVP honors, but the victory meant more than that to a city that spent 12 years without NFL football as commissioner Paul Tagliabue infamously suggested that Baltimore build a museum after a failed expansion bid. Instead of a museum, it was the sight of Tagliabue handing the trophy to Ravens owner Art Modell that provided the last laugh for a football town reborn.
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