The Denver Broncos' run this season has revived conversation about a team that won a Super Bowl with a dominant defense and a game manager at quarterback.
The 11th straight victory for the Ravens followed what became an unbeatable formula that season: relentless defense, opportunistic special teams and timely big plays on offense.
Trent Dilfer gave the Ravens an early lead with a 38-yard touchdown to Brandon Stokley. Jermaine Lewis clinched the city of Baltimore's first Super Bowl in three decades with a 84-yard kickoff return for a score.
That Super Bowl, though, will be forever remembered as the crowning glory for one of the best defenses in NFL history. After setting the record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season, the Ray Lewis-led defense intercepted Kerry Collins four times and shut out New York's offense.
"This win is something they can't take away from us," Lewis said after the game. "We are the best ever, the best ever right now. We didn't just break records, we shattered them. We dominated, literally."
Baltimore's defense allowed the Giants just 33 total yards in the second half, and 152 for the game. The Giants were only 2-for-14 on third down.
In four playoff games, the Ravens' defense gave up just one touchdown, and Baltimore outscored its opponents by a combined 95-23 -- an 18-point average margin of victory.
Lewis was selected as the game's Most Valuable Player, one year after he was charged in a double murder the night of Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta (the charges were later dropped). Lewis, who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, became the first middle linebacker to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.
"I'm biased, but who cares," said Brian Billick, who was their coach. "Who's going to tell me they're not [the best defense ever]? I'll argue that to my death."