After last Miami playoff trip, the drought began

January 02, 2009|By jamison hensley | jamison hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Many point to the fact that the Ravens are returning to the place where they turned around their season.

But Miami has more historical significance than that.

South Florida is the site of the Ravens' last playoff victory.

It came Jan. 13, 2002, when the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens beat up on the Dolphins, 20-3.

Terry Allen rushed for 109 yards. Elvis Grbac hit Travis Taylor for a 4-yard touchdown pass that capped a 99-yard drive. The always-tough Ravens defense didn't allow a touchdown.

The Ravens became the only team in NFL history to win its first five postseason games. But times certainly changed after that.

The Ravens' postseason streak is now three straight losses. In the 2001 season, they got blasted at Pittsburgh in the divisional round. In 2003, they lost to the Tennessee Titans at home after winning the AFC North. In 2006, they fell to the Indianapolis Colts after earning the No. 2 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye.

So, how long has it been since the Ravens' last playoff win?

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis is the only starter remaining from that team. Tight end Todd Heap, the team's all-time leading receiver, was a rookie. And current starting quarterback Joe Flacco was 16 years old.

A look at the Ravens' past three playoff appearances:

2001 season: Steelers 27, Ravens 10

What went wrong: : The Ravens' offense managed 150 total yards and turned the ball over four times.

Biggest mistake: : Grbac's first pass was intercepted by cornerback Chad Scott.

2003 season: Titans 20, Ravens 17

What went wrong: : Jamal Lewis, the NFL's leading rusher, was held to 35 yards on 14 carries.

Biggest mistake: : Despite the Ravens having clinched the franchise's first division title before kickoff, coach Brian Billick played his starters for all four quarters and overtime in a meaningless 13-10 win over the Steelers. Six days later, the Ravens were physically spent for their playoff game against Tennessee.

2006 season: Colts 15, Ravens 6

What went wrong: : The Ravens' offense failed to convert nine of 11 third downs and turned the ball over four times, two of which led to field goals.

Biggest mistake: : On third-and-goal from the Colts' 3-yard line, Steve McNair was late on a throw to Heap in the end zone and was intercepted by Antoine Bethea.

playoff victory droughts

Teams who haven't won a postseason game for at least six seasons:

Team Last playoff win Round

Cincinnati Bengals 1990 Wild card

Detroit Lions 1991 Divisional playoffs

Kansas City Chiefs 1993 Divisional playoffs

Cleveland Browns 1994 Wild card

Buffalo Bills 1995 Wild card

Dallas Cowboys 1996 Wild card

Arizona Cardinals 1998 Wild card

Miami Dolphins 2000 Wild card

Ravens 2001 Wild card

Houston Texans* None

* Franchise founded in 2002

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