Super Bowl LV is set to take place in just a couple of days as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs to determine which team is the best in the NFL. But not too long ago, the league was under the Baltimore Ravens’ reign.
On this day eight years ago, the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII to claim the second Lombardi Trophy in the franchise’s existence. It was a monumental moment for the team, not only because the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of achievement in the NFL, but because it was linebacker Ray Lewis’ last ride. Lewis had announced the 2012 season would be his last as Baltimore entered the playoffs, making Super Bowl XLVII the last time he’d step on the field in pads and a keystone moment in Lewis’ Hall of Fame career.
The game was filled with twists and turns befitting its stature. Baltimore got out to a 28-6 lead early in the third quarter after Jacob Jones returned the second-half’s opening kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown. But a power outage soon after caused the game to be suspended for over a half-hour, allowing the 49ers to rally and ultimately make it a tight game, bringing the score to 31-29 midway through the fourth quarter. The Ravens obviously prevailed, beating San Francisco 34-31.
While fans have often criticized Baltimore’s lack of postseason success since Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens remain one of the best teams in the league. When looking at the rest of the league, an eight-year gap since the team’s last Super Bowl appearance is actually one of the shortest droughts in the NFL currently.
Take a look at where Baltimore sits on the list of longest Super Bowl/NFL Championship droughts:
Las Vegas Raiders (formerly Oakland)
The Ravens were the last team to represent the AFC North, quite a feat considering the Pittsburgh Steelers have also been one of the league’s best teams over the last decade. With the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns improving — the Browns made it to the divisional round of the playoffs as well last season — that could all change in the coming years. But for Baltimore’s fans, there hasn’t been much of a wait since past glory.
As we hear more about the Chiefs and Buccaneers this week, reflect back kindly on that dominant 2012 team.