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cushrinada1986

2013 Ravens: Greatest playoff run in NFL history?

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I know a lot of analyst may not agree but I believe the Ravens 2013 playoff could be top 3 if not the greatest run in NFL history. Flacco and company had to push pass the young prodigy Luck, then go all the way to Denver and face the man Luck replaced, future HOF Payton Manning, in what could be called the NFL's version of an WWEs Iron Man Match in record setting cold weather. Then, make their way back to the scene of last years tragic lost in NE, only to rectify that loss and go head to head with arguably the best overall team in the NFC as well as Johns brother Jim in what will be now known as the "HarBowl". The SB itself has more twist and turns than a Micheal Bay movie, an explosive start which thought would lead to a blowout, a blowout in the power which lasted 30 minutes, an almost magical comeback by the 49ers which all culminated into one of the most exciting, intense, and historic 4 down goal line stands in NFL history(with Ray's D going against the upstart 49ers pistol offense. Maybe its because im a huge fan of the purple and black but I think the Ravens deserve a lot more respect and admiration for what they did this year than what they have been given(because if this was Matt Ryan and the Falcons doing this, they would have probably started calling him the greatest QB of the future or something). Please let me know your thoughts, does the ravens run in 2013 deserve to be on top or are there any other runs(2000 season included) you can think of that could match this one?

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-super-bowl/0ap2000000136523/A-look-back-Joe-Flacco-s-playoff-run
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The storylines themselves are astounding. The kind of thing that people say the cliche, 'if you pitched it to Hollywood, they would throw you out of the room' but they were real and monumentous. Ray's last ride, Flacco silencing the critics, Harbowl, re-match against the Pats, epic battle in Denver, etc, etc.

It'd be interesting to see the over/under point lines for our games and how they compare to other SB winners. It feels like they were 9-pt under-dogs for the last three games.
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Man how do you write that much? I think you have to consider things like seeding, injuries, the david v goliath aspect, the performances all around - not just those of 1 or 2 guys, the aura and intrigue of the run itself - the story.

 

With that said, it definitely wasn't better than the 2000 run so already it's not the greatest run of all time. Curious how different was 2013's run from that of the Packers run? How different was it than that of the 2005 Steeler team that won? How different was it than both runs the GMen had?

 

I'm not saying any of those were better, but I think those were all just as magnificent. Nevermind the fact that the GMen made sure that history didn't happen...

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It was a great ride, but too bad we have to suck now because we used up our quota of Super Bowl wins.

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Colts, Broncos, Patriots then 49ers.    

 

Yeah that was one tough ride.   I don't think any team in NFL history have been that big of a underdog from beginning to the end like Ravens has been @ the playoffs.

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I don't know if it's the greatest of all time but the Storylines were definitely great. The story of the 2012-13 Ravens will be told in many ways, but i think it'll have to be someone close to the Ravens to tell the story, because people outside of Baltimore just won't get it.

 

You are talking about a team that dealt with so much, starting with the loss to the Pats to end the season. Then to start the season you have to deal with death, injuries, firings, and so much more. But then you get to the playoffs and you could honestly make a short movie from the story lines of each game.

 

Colts vs Ravens- Ray Lewis' last home game in front of the fans who have stuck with him for 17 years. He'll never run out that tunnel game, never dance before that crowd again, never hear his name over the PA system again. That was a special moment within itself. While others my acknowledge it, I'm think you had to be a Ravens fan to truly appreciate that moment.

 

Ravens @ Broncos. Arguability one of the greatest playoff games played. That is one of those games that you always remember where you were and who you were with watching that game. So cold, so much drama and the world getting to witness what makes Joe so cool. That play to Jacoby and the reaction by the fans is something only made for TV.

 

Ravens @ Pats- As was already stated, that's the revenge game of all revenge games. Many Ravens players have openly said that getting back to that field to play that team in the AFC Championship was the focus for the team. For that to play out that was is just amazing. Flacco puts to bed all the talk about him outplaying Brady being a fluke. Pollard proves a Patriot killer again, the Patriots being 67-0 in games when leading at half.

 

Ravens vs 49ers- First time ever two Brothers coach against each other in the Super Bowl, Ray being able to retire a Super Bowl champ, Flacco saying he thinks he's the best QB before the season and now being able to prove it. The way the game was played, the lights going out and then the drama of the goaline stand.

 

I love the America's Game seires, but I don't think they'll be able to capture everything.

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If your criteria for "greatest" run means headlines, underdogs and tremendous story lines, along with exciting games, then this certainly ranks up there at the top.  However, if you are more literal with the term "greatest" and mean an amazing, dominating performance by a team throughout the playoffs, then the Bears, Dolphins, 49ers and even the Ravens have a more qualifying run than this most recent Superbowl winning pursuit.

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Yeah, it depends on our definition of greatest.

 

Storylines? It's absolutely up there.

 

Dominance? No, but the 2000 Ravens have a front row seat in that category.

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Yes.

Every single thing that team battled through and every single story line, I can't imagine any other run being more special than ours. We didn't dominate but instead made plays when they mattered....No matter the circumstances.

Also another stat I looked up the other day because I was curious, might make it even more impressive...

We were the first team since the Colts in 2007 to win the Superbowl after winning the division the previous year. Meaning we had to deal with a harder schedule in our winning year. I think that's a little noteworthy considering the last 5 winners haven't. Although, one could call the Saints run just as impressive, in that regard, considering when they won the Superbowl they were in last place the year before. Or I could just be wrong and they didn't implement the schedule like that in years past.
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I suppose it will be considered the best to the generation and the fan base that it means most to. It's like asking which flavor of ice cream is best. There are just too many good ones to choose from and the taste of the testers all vary.

Not to take anything away from the 2013 Super Bowl win, it was a good one.
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It is hard to define "Greatest Playoff Run" but I will say it was one of the most exciting and maybe even magical playoff runs in history.

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It is hard to define "Greatest Playoff Run" but I will say it was one of the most exciting and maybe even magical playoff runs in history.

Absolutely agree there but this isn't even the Raven's greatest playoff run. I really think you have to look at what makes a run great and then compare to others you have witnessed. Also like to add this is the kinda thing that makes people hate Ravens fans. I'm curious as to what others here think was the greatest run of the past 20 years.

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I said at the start of the playoffs that the course is what would make it such a thing of beauty. We already knew the way match ups essentially went if the Ravens won each game and knew it would be a gauntlet. The way the Pats ended up getting destroyed though was awe inspiring. The blowout that could've been would've been a nice ending to the story, but the way it finished worked out just as well. In recent memory though I would have to put the Giants SB runs up there as well. Side note, everyone says how hard it is to repeat, but I honestly think if Plax never had the incident, they had a good shot at defending their title. They were running through their schedule before he went down.
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Absolutely agree there but this isn't even the Raven's greatest playoff run. I really think you have to look at what makes a run great and then compare to others you have witnessed. Also like to add this is the kinda thing that makes people hate Ravens fans. I'm curious as to what others here think was the greatest run of the past 20 years.


Well for me, if football is at its foundation entertainment, greatness should be defined by how entertaining the run was for all viewers. Dominance is fun to watch for fans of the team dominating, but not for others. Close games and deep story lines are entertaining for everyone no matter who they are. I think the 2013 run was better than the 2000 run for that reason alone. No one but Ravens fans actually care about the 2000 run. It just wasn't very fun for other teams' fans and nonfans to watch an upstart team punish it's heavily favored opponents with dominating defense. So much so that they changed the rules of the game so it was less likely to happen again! But, like Torrey said, this past playoff run, particularly the Broncos game, made fans out of people who didn't even like football before. The drama was so compelling that it didn't matter who you liked or if you liked anyone at all, the Ravens' struggle to send Ray out on top tapped into something fundamentally human that is much deeper than X's and O's. To me, that is the definition of greatness.
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Well for me, if football is at its foundation entertainment, greatness should be defined by how entertaining the run was for all viewers. Dominance is fun to watch for fans of the team dominating, but not for others. Close games and deep story lines are entertaining for everyone no matter who they are. I think the 2013 run was better than the 2000 run for that reason alone. No one but Ravens fans actually care about the 2000 run. It just wasn't very fun for other teams' fans and nonfans to watch an upstart team punish it's heavily favored opponents with dominating defense. So much so that they changed the rules of the game so it was less likely to happen again! But, like Torrey said, this past playoff run, particularly the Broncos game, made fans out of people who didn't even like football before. The drama was so compelling that it didn't matter who you liked or if you liked anyone at all, the Ravens' struggle to send Ray out on top tapped into something fundamentally human that is much deeper than X's and O's. To me, that is the definition of greatness.

Ah okay we just differ on the definition of greatest playoff run, thats fine. This game is entertainment but i don't think what entertains the casual fans should fully sway what ends up being the greatest. Also I disagree with your assumption that hardcore fans of other teams we played that year don't care or didn't have fun watching because it was an Historic Defense that fans of Gridiron loved and still love watching. We all agree this playoff run was ripped out of a Football Movie though. I concede that point. 

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If you judge it on QB performance, yes. If you judge it on team performance, probably not. Flacco and his receivers performed well in every single game putting together the best QB playoff run ever.

Still there were problems on offense, that surprisingly came from our running game. Not just Ray Rice fumbling the ball a bunch, but also it's ineffectiveness against the Pats and SF for the most part.

 

Our defense prevented some very good teams from scoring until we got to the SB and even then they still gave up a ton of yardage. Ray Lewis last ride was anything, but glorious. In fact, most of our defensive stars performed very poorely with age and injuries catching up to them.

 

Our special teams performed well for the most part, but almost cost us the game against Denver.

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85 bears destroyed everyone so they would have to be up there, 07 giants won on the road in every game in the playoffs and beat very tough oppositions and 2000 ravens also won every game on the road and hadprobably the best defense I have ever seen (bears 85 would be 2nd) and crushed the giants to win their first superbowl. I think those 3 are the best runs to the superbowl championship.
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85 bears destroyed everyone so they would have to be up there, 07 giants won on the road in every game in the playoffs and beat very tough oppositions and 2000 ravens also won every game on the road and hadprobably the best defense I have ever seen (bears 85 would be 2nd) and crushed the giants to win their first superbowl. I think those 3 are the best runs to the superbowl championship.

I need to check the 85 Bears again, they were legendary as well. Thanks mate. 

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85 bears destroyed everyone so they would have to be up there, 07 giants won on the road in every game in the playoffs and beat very tough oppositions and 2000 ravens also won every game on the road and hadprobably the best defense I have ever seen (bears 85 would be 2nd) and crushed the giants to win their first superbowl. I think those 3 are the best runs to the superbowl championship.

 

What about the 89-90 49ers?  They pretty much destroyed their competition.  Also, the Dolphins perfect season ended with them giving up nearly nothing to their opponents through the playoffs.  If that kind of thing is what you consider to be great runs, then you have to include these two.

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What about the 89-90 49ers?  They pretty much destroyed their competition.  Also, the Dolphins perfect season ended with them giving up nearly nothing to their opponents through the playoffs.  If that kind of thing is what you consider to be great runs, then you have to include these two.


you're right about those 2, although the dolphins did play less regular season games back then so the schedule wasn't as hard
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How different was it than that of the 2005 Steeler team that won? How different was it than both runs the GMen had?

 

I'm not saying any of those were better, but I think those were all just as magnificent. Nevermind the fact that the GMen made sure that history didn't happen...

 

 

 

 

 

But steelers and G-men have fans all over and supporters. they are Goliath franchises.

 

People are mad that the Ravens made it let alone won the superbowl. People always says they daddy grew up a steelers fan or they have family in new york....NOONE LAYS CLAIM TO B-MORE!!!.....that's why it's different.  

 
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that is tough to answer since I dont know all the rest of the stories...

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It was magical. But it didn't just start in the playoffs.

It was from the beginning, going into the season without our best defender in Suggs..after losing ART, Torrey losing his brother then having a monster game vs the pats, The offense getting off to a red hot start..but tapering off by mid season. Then losing Ray, Webb, Ngata, Mcclain, Ellerbe. The defense..the Ravens CALLING CARD was in flux..the team was frusterated and starting to question their coach.

Then the firing of Cam Cameron, the re-surgance of the offense, the defense getting healthy for the playoffs in time to face their demons one last time..the old horse shoe, manning, brady.

We were huge underdogs in each of those games.

Then everything culminates late in the 4th in the Super Bowl..the Offense got us there, but it was up to the defense to finish the job.


The first time I saw the 2000 Ravens americas game, I got chills watching Billick run down the sidelines screaming when Jermaine Lewis delivered the dagger... But that was really only about how the Ravens were new, nobody liked us, the defense was nasty ect..

This year's story is a much more inspiring against all odds story
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People keep listing amazing teams that crushed all of their opponents as better playoff runs.  I don't particularly understand this, and I suppose it's a matter of opinion.

 

I feel like the best stories are those of the underdog who is able to overcome immense odds in order to reach the top.  We were certainly the underdog going into the playoffs, and were able to silence so many of our critics, which makes this story great, but not the greatest of all time.

 

I just want to see our America's Game segment.  Cannot wait til September.

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People keep listing amazing teams that crushed all of their opponents as better playoff runs.  I don't particularly understand this, and I suppose it's a matter of opinion.

 

I feel like the best stories are those of the underdog who is able to overcome immense odds in order to reach the top.  We were certainly the underdog going into the playoffs, and were able to silence so many of our critics, which makes this story great, but not the greatest of all time.

 

I just want to see our America's Game segment.  Cannot wait til September.

 

Better story than the dominant teams, yes.  But what is the definition of "greatest"?  I agree that this season was far more compelling than, say, the 89-90 49ers.  It made for much more drama and excitement.  It was far better TV.  However, was it a "greater" run than a team that outscored its opponents by a combined 100 points in three games?  Greater for Ravens fans and the general public with no real team interest, yes, but a greater run is debatable.

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Better story than the dominant teams, yes.  But what is the definition of "greatest"?  I agree that this season was far more compelling than, say, the 89-90 49ers.  It made for much more drama and excitement.  It was far better TV.  However, was it a "greater" run than a team that outscored its opponents by a combined 100 points in three games?  Greater for Ravens fans and the general public with no real team interest, yes, but a greater run is debatable.

 

Agreed.  I guess "greatest" leaves a lot of ambiguity in regards to what you are talking about.  Greatest storyline?  Greatest offensive and defensive performance? Greatest in terms of drama? Etc.

 

I would say, in regards to the storyline, our postseason run was probably up there with some of the greatest.  Offensive and defensive performance-wise, we are probably middle of the pack.  Drama-wise, the Broncos game speaks for itself.

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Greatest, as in most dominant performances by the team?  Not even close.  Not even top 20.  Greatest, as in most entertaining, most plot twists, most unexpected, most uplifting?  Perhaps.  It's certainly up there.  It's a story of perseverance, of overcoming nearly insurmountable odds, of doing what nobody thought you could do, of sending out one of the all-time greats on top of the world, a coming of age for an offense that's never been a focal point for the organization, it had drama, suspense, it had tons, and tons of action and an unbelievable number of touchdowns scored (both for and against) throughout the post-season run.  That's why it's great.  It's memorable.  It was pure entertainment.  And in that regard, I'd argue it's certainly in the conversation for the greatest of all time.

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Greatest, as in most dominant performances by the team?  Not even close.  Not even top 20.  Greatest, as in most entertaining, most plot twists, most unexpected, most uplifting?  Perhaps.  It's certainly up there.  It's a story of perseverance, of overcoming nearly insurmountable odds, of doing what nobody thought you could do, of sending out one of the all-time greats on top of the world, a coming of age for an offense that's never been a focal point for the organization, it had drama, suspense, it had tons, and tons of action and an unbelievable number of touchdowns scored (both for and against) throughout the post-season run.  That's why it's great.  It's memorable.  It was pure entertainment.  And in that regard, I'd argue it's certainly in the conversation for the greatest of all time.

Yeah i have to say using the latter definition it's hard to find a run more storybook then this one.

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Yeah i have to say using the latter definition it's hard to find a run more storybook then this one.

 

One that came close, but didn't happen, was the 92-93 Bills.  They entered the playoffs as a wildcard and weren't expected to go too far.  They had that epic comeback in the first round, then had to win in Pittsburgh before beating Joe Montana's Chiefs in KC.  This set up a chance for them to avenge the losses they had suffered in the previous two Superbowls.  If only they hadn't gotten demolished in the Superbowl by five touchdowns, they would have compared.  Since they lost, I have a hard time coming up with a more storybook playoff run than ours last season.

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