Going into the Baltimore Ravens' 14th season, I did some research on the best rookie seasons since their inception in the 1996 season. For statistical purposes, I based the definition of the rookie season on the first year in the NFL for the player. Obviously, there have been many players whose first year with the Ravens was not their first year in the league, so those players are not part of my statistical profile. I looked at passing, rushing, receiving, sacks, interceptions and punting. I also looked at placekicking, but since the only full time placekicker on the Ravens' roster since their inception was Matt Stover, it wouldn't fit into my story, as Stover;'s rookie season was 1991 when he was a Cleveland Brown, and that takes him and the category out of the equation (FYI - In Stover's rookie season in Cleveland, he was 16-22 in FG attempts with two kicks over 50 yards for a total of 81 points. His first season as a Raven was 1996 and he hit on 19-25 with one over 50 yards for 91 points).
Click to the "Jump" for the rest of the Baltimore Ravens best rookie seasons.
Passing: Joe Flacco (2008) 257-428, 2971 yards, 14-TD/12-INT
NOTE: Kyle Boller's rookie season (2003) looked like this: 116-224, 1260 yards, 7-TD/9-INT. For comparison purposes, Vinny Testeverde's initial Baltimore season was 325-549, 4177 yards, 33-TD/19-INT!
Rushing: Jamal Lewis (2000) 309 attempts for 1364 yards & 6 TD's (no one else was anywhere close to Lewis).
Receiving: Mark Clayton (2005) 44 receptions, 471 yards, 2-TD
NOTE: Travis Taylor (2000) came in second with 28/276/3 and Todd Heap (2001) just behind him with 16/206/1.
Sacks: Terrell Suggs (2003) 12.0
NOTE: Suggs just barely beat out Peter Boulware (1997), who finished with 11.5 sacks.
Interceptions: Thre was a four-way tie for this category, so here are the guys listed in order of return yardage:
Ed Reed (2002) 5 for 167 yards, 0-TD
Dawan Landry (2006) 5 for 101 yards, 1-TD
Chris McAlister (1999) 5 for 28 yards, 0-TD
Duane Starks (1998) 5 for 3 yards, 0-TD
Punting: Sam Koch (2006) 86 punts for a 43.0 average, including 30 inside opponent's 20 yard line.
NOTE: Dave Zastudil (2002) came in a close second with 81 punts for a 41.6 average and 31 inside opponent's 20.
Surprised? What categories would you have thought would have had different leaders?