Are the 2000 Baltimore Ravens the greatest team ever?


(Credits: AP Photo/Doug Mills)

If you’re a Baltimore Ravens fan, the most thrilling moment in this team’s franchise history came 11 years ago, when the Ravens hoisted the Lombardi Trophy.

Could that have really been the greatest team in NFL history?

It’s certainly an intriguing question because the 2000 Ravens have advanced to the finals of the “Greatest Team of All-Time” tournament being held on NFL.com.

They’re facing the 1976 Oakland Raiders, who went 16-1 under head coach John Madden.

In the spirit of March Madness, NFL.com selected the 64 best teams of the Super Bowl era and seeded them in a March Madness-style bracket.

The Ravens, seeded as a No. 9 seed, have played the role of Cinderella.

The Ravens made their way to the final, strictly through fan voting. In the semifinals, they beat the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, a team that went 18-1 under the direction of quarterback Joe Montana and head coach Bill Walsh.

The 1976 Raiders also won in what is being called an upset, as they eliminated Mike Ditka’s 1985 Chicago Bears, the No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four.

The 2000 Ravens went 16-4, including nine straight wins en route to a dominating, 34-7, victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. The defense, which allowed a record-low 165 points in the regular-season, is considered by many to be the greatest single-season defense of all-time. On the flip side — the offense — led by quarterback Trent Dilfer, was the team’s Achilles heel and it could have been the one factor holding the 2000 team back from having the chance to be voted as the greatest team of all-time.

Fan voting ends Friday at 5 p.m.