First and foremost, it is important to note that the Baltimore Ravens were the original Cleveland Browns. However due to disagreements over stadium issues, owner Art Modell basically packed up and moved in the middle of the night, and slipped out of town in 1996. Since their move to Baltimore, the Ravens have been on the National Football League’s best teams every year and the results show. They have won four division championships, made nine playoff appearances, won two conference championships, and turned both of those conference championships into Super Bowl wins. Since they have only been around since 1996, they have only called two places home. First they played in the old Memorial Stadium for two years. Then in 1998 they moved into M&T Bank Stadium, which is their home to this day.
The Ravens have always had always been known for their stout defense, and that was built on the longtime presence of two future hall of fame members- middle linebacker Ray Lewis, and safety Ed Reed. However both of those guys are gone now, so it is time for new members to step up and lead. One of those players is former Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw, who has excelled as a pro to this point of his NFL career. The Ravens also have one of the best overall arms in the NFL playing quarterback, Joe Flacco. Flacco won the Super MVP in 2012 and turned that into one of the biggest contracts in the NFL.
Ravens Versus Steelers Rivalry
The premiere rival of the Baltimore Ravens at this moment is the Pittsburgh Steelers. In fact it is a widely accepted fact that the Ravens-Steelers rivalry is the best one going in American professional sports as of this moment. Many experts say that the Steelers and Ravens are basically the same team, the only difference is the Ravens play a 4-3 defense, and the Steelers play a 3-4 defense. Different lineup, same results. Both teams are also coached by two hard nosed coaches who in locker rooms full of tough guys, might be the toughest guy in the room. The Steelers and Ravens renew their rivalry in week two in Baltimore. The return trip is week nine in Pittsburgh. The game in Baltimore is on Thursday Night Football and the game in Pittsburgh is on Sunday Night Football.
The Ravens have been one of the NFL's best teams since their 1996 move, and despite the retirements of longtime defensive anchors Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, the Ravens had kept that success going. However, 2015 was a nightmare season for the franchise, as they finished 5-11 and missed the playoffs. This marked the first time since 2007 the Ravens failed to qualify for the playoffs and was their worst record since 2007 as well, when ironically they went 5-11. However, the Ravens turned their 2007 failure into a success, as they used their high first round draft choice to select the man who has now become their franchise quarterback, and one of the best in the league for that matter, Joe Flacco.
The Ravens entered the 2016 NFL draft desperately needing depth. They accomplished that with 11 picks in the first six rounds. For an offensive lineman, they picked up Ronnie Stanley. They needed and outside linebacker, and got one in Kamalei Correa. For defensive and, they chose Bronson Kaufusi. At wide receiver they chose Chris Moore. The running back that they picked up was none other than Kenneth Dixon. Time will tell if they had a great draft or not.