GREATEST TEAM OF ALL TIME
VOTING ENDS: MARCH 30, 5PM ET
1976 Oakland Raiders vs. 2000 Baltimore Ravens
There's no question that the Bracketology Finals feature teams that won the semi's in an upset. The '85 Bears and '84 49ers, the only Super Bowl champions to finish 18-1, in NFL history, went down to two very different clubs.
So how would the 1976 Raiders and 2000 Ravens, teams that put a different stamp on pro football, match up? The Ravens would certainly be able to counter the physical brand of football Oakland employs. But could Baltimore contain Ken Stabler, Fred Biletnikoff, Cliff Branch, and Dave Casper? Probably, especially with the luxury of having Rod Woodson lock up on Casper. Meanwhile, the running game of Mark van Eeghen and Clarence Davis would get nothing on the Ravens run defense. The one issue for Baltimore would be the pass rush, which would struggle versus the Oakland offensive line...the left side of which featured two Hall of Famers in Art Shell and Gene Upshaw. How long could Baltimore keep guys covered?
On the other side of the ball, Trent Dilfer and Shannon Sharpe would have to take advantage of the Oakland secondary off playaction. Sharpe could certainly handle the Raiders rough play. Those playaction shots would come off of feeding the ball to Jamal Lewis 25 times and spelling him with Priest Holmes. They would have an easier time running on the middle of the Oakland defense than the other way around. Question is, can Dilfer make enough plays to keep up with Stabler?
Ironically, this Ravens team beat the Raiders in the 2000 AFC Championship. Too bad the 2000 Raiders weren't exactly the 1976 Raiders.
So who's the best team of the Super Bowl era?