In honor of this weekend’s NFL divisional round between the AFC and NFC, we take a look back at the way the Baltimore Ravens have performed in the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs in its 21-year franchise history. The Ravens have an all-time record of 4-5 in the AFC Divisional round. And out of those nine games, seven of them were on the road. Let’s start in order.
2000 AFC Divisional round 12-4 Ravens vs. 13-3 Titans: Ravens won on the road 24-10
This game was the start of a decade and a half road warrior dominance by the Ravens in the playoffs. This was the first ever road playoff win in franchise history and the Ravens historic defense shut down the number one seed Titans at a time where the Titans 16-1 at home since 1999. After this game, the Titans fell to 16-2 at home with both losses at the hands of the Ravens.
2001 AFC Divisional round 10-6 Ravens vs. 13-3 Steeelers: Ravens lost on the road 27-10
This game ended the Ravens run as defending Super Bowl champions to its then AFC Central and now AFC North rival Steelers. The Ravens second ranked defense at the time was not able to hold up for long as the Ravens offense behind quarterback Elvis Grbac could only muster three points throughout the entire game. The only touchdown by the Ravens occurred on a kickoff return by Jermaine Lewis.
2006 AFC Divisional round 13-3 Ravens vs. 12-4 Colts: Ravens lost at home 15-6
Some Ravens’ fans believe that this is the most devastating playoff loss in franchise history. The Ravens finished the season 13-3 which is still the best regular season record the Ravens have ever had. It was also the first time the Ravens earned a first round bye and with the number one ranked defense that rivaled the 2000 Ravens in statistics, it still wasn’t enough to defeat the Colts.
The Ravens defense held Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to zero touchdowns and still lost because the offense could only score six points against a Colts defense that struggled especially against the run all season.
2008 AFC Divisional round 11-5 Ravens vs. 13-3 Titans: Ravens won on the road 13-10
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Just like in 2000, the Titans were 13-3. Just like in 2000, the Ravens faced the Titans in the AFC Divisional round. Just like in 2000, the Ravens walked out of Tennessee with a victory. This game is arguably the most physical game the Ravens have ever played to date.
It seemed like every other play, a player from both teams was walking off the field with an injury. But behind rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, he led the Ravens into field goal position late in the fourth quarter with kicker Matt Stover ultimately sealing the deal to give the Ravens the win.
2009 AFC Divisional round 9-7 Ravens vs. 14-2 Colts: Ravens lost on the road 20-3
The Ravens offense once again could not get anything going against the Colts defense that was notorious in the Manning era for being soft more times than not. But whenever the Colts defense faced the Ravens offense during this era, the Colts defense played out of its mind.
2010 AFC Divisional round 12-4 Ravens vs. 12-4 Steelers: Ravens lost on the road 31-24
The Ravens started out fast in this game with a 21-7 lead heading into halftime. The quarter that ultimately failed the Ravens was the third quarter when the team would allow the Steelers to score 14 unanswered points.
With 6:09 left in the fourth quarter, Ravens defensive back Lardarius Webb had a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown called back due to holding on Ravens wide receiver Marcus Smith. By the way, the holding penalty was not legit and the Ravens eventually had to settle for a field goal to tie the game at 24.
With under two minutes left in the game, the Steelers would score the go-ahead touchdown to make the score 31-24. The Ravens had an opportunity to make something happen late, but Ravens wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh dropped a pass from Flacco that hit him right in the chest on 4th and 18.
2011 AFC Divisional round 12-4 Ravens vs. 10-6 Texans: Ravens won at home 20-13
This game was second AFC Divisional home game in franchise history and the Ravens were looking for its first ever home win in this round. The Ravens as the second seed in the AFC got the win but it was very close due to the fact that the Texans had a defense that was relentless that even caused Ravens safety Ed Reed to say Flacco was, “rattled” after the game.
2012 AFC Divisional round 10-6 Ravens vs. 13-3 Broncos: Ravens won on the road 38-35 in double overtime
This is not only the most exciting AFC Divisional game in Ravens franchise history, it is arguably the most exciting game in this round in NFL history. The back and fourth between the two teams was endless. We saw a kick return, punt return, interception return for a touchdown and a 70-yard bomb from Flacco to wide receiver Jacoby Jones to send the game into overtime with less than 40 seconds left in the game. The game was decided in double overtime by a clutch field goal by Ravens rookie kicker Justin Tucker.
Even though this game didn’t decide the Super Bowl, it was in some ways the most satisfying win the Ravens have ever had due to the media pundits going out of their way before the game to diss any notion of the Ravens winning this game.
This game on record is the fourth longest game ever played in NFL history.
2014 AFC Divisional round 10-6 Ravens vs. 12-4 Patriots: Ravens lost on the road 35-31
The Ravens had no business losing this game by all logic but the team managed to do that. The Ravens became the first time in NFL history to lose a playoff game in which it had a 14 point lead on two separate occasions. The Ravens started the game off to a 14-0 lead and a 28-14 lead.
Despite Flacco’s efforts with four touchdown passes, the Ravens defense couldn’t stop Tom Brady and the Patriots offense from doing damage when it mattered most.