TJ's Take on the Super Bowl
Special to ESPN.com
Here's my quick review of Super Bowl XXXV:
The Ravens had five takeaways in Super Bowl XXXV and 12 in the four postseason games they played. In turn, they didn't turn the ball over and got balance in the running game from Jamal Lewis. Trent Dilfer did just enough; at times, he looked awful, but he made just enough big plays.Every Giants' offensive play was an ordeal. And the Ravens' defense wanted it that way; that is what they have done all year. The former record for points allowed in a 16-game schedule was 187; the Ravens gave up 188 in 20 games. They took a Giants team that had come off a 41-point explosion in the NFC championship and completely dismantled it. For the Ravens' defense, it was a fitting end to a spectacular season.
Ray Lewis only had five tackles en route to winning the MVP, but as usual, he was all over the field and had his hands on every ball; he deflected four passes. Lewis dictated the tone of the entire defense just as he has done all year long. For the Ravens, the irony remains: The man who began the season with a double-murder plea bargain under his belt ended it as the Super Bowl MVP. And Trent Dilfer returned to Raymond James Stadium to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy -- and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had nothing to do with it.
Tom Jackson is an NFL analyst for ESPN.