|1996 Baltimore Ravens season|
|Head Coach||Ted Marchibroda|
|Home Field||Memorial Stadium|
|Place||5th AFC Central|
|Playoff Finish||did not qualify|
|Previous season||Next season|
The 1996 Baltimore Ravens season was the franchise's inaugural season in the National Football League (NFL) and at their home stadium, Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore remained without an NFL football franchise for 13 years after the Baltimore Colts relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1996, however, the NFL approved Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell's proposal to relocate the franchise to Baltimore, although the records and name of the Browns would remain in Cleveland, Ohio. After Modell established the franchise in Baltimore, the team was named the "Baltimore Ravens" via a poll conducted by the Baltimore Sun as the team was assigned to play in the American Football Conference (AFC) Central Division; afterwards, over 50,000 tickets were sold for the entire season.
The Ravens would finish their first season with a 4–12 record under coach Ted Marchibroda, who coached the Colts before and after they relocated and has a 41–33 regular season record in Baltimore. At the Ravens' first-ever regular season game, a record attendance of 64,124 was present in their win against the Oakland Raiders, 19–14, on September 1 at home. Their second victory came in Week 5, against the New Orleans Saints at home, in which they became 2–2. In Week 7, the Ravens traveled to Indianapolis to play Baltimore's previous team, the Colts. They, however, lost 26–21 and fell to 2–4 record. Their only other two victories were recorded in Week 9 (against the St. Louis Rams) and Week 14 (against the Steelers) at home. Although not a winning season, Quarterback Vinny Testaverde was voted into the Pro Bowl, and wide receivers Michael Jackson and Derrick Alexander surpassed the 1,000 yard receiving mark.
Football statistics site Football Outsiders noted how the 1996 Ravens were the opposite of their defense-heavy/offense-poor reputation over the subsequent ten years: "It seems like the Ravens have combined a great defense with a terrible offense since they first moved to Baltimore, but it turns out that the Ravens have only combined a great defense with a terrible offense since their second year in Baltimore. The 1996 inaugural edition of the Ravens was the complete and total opposite of all the Ravens teams to come: the best offense in the NFL combined with the second-worst defense. The next year, the offense dropped to 19th and the defense rose to 13th, and the Ravens basically stayed like that for the next decade."
|5||Jermaine Lewis||Wide receiver||Maryland|
|6||James Roe||Wide receiver||Norfolk State|
|1||September 1, 1996||Oakland Raiders||W 19–14||1–0–0|
|2||September 8, 1996||at Pittsburgh Steelers||L 31–17||1–1–0|
|3||September 15, 1996||at Houston Oilers||L 29–13||1–2–0|
|5||September 29, 1996||New Orleans Saints||W 17–10||2–2–0|
|6||October 6, 1996||New England Patriots||L 46–38||2–3–0|
|7||October 13, 1996||at Indianapolis Colts||L 26–21||2–4–0|
|8||October 20, 1996||at Denver Broncos||L 45–34||2–5–0|
|9||October 27, 1996||St. Louis Rams||W 37–31 OT||3–5–0|
|10||November 3, 1996||Cincinnati Bengals||L 24–21||3–6–0|
|11||November 10, 1996||at Jacksonville Jaguars||L 30–27||3–7–0|
|12||November 17, 1996||at San Francisco 49ers||L 38–20||3–8–0|
|13||November 24, 1996||Jacksonville Jaguars||L 28–25 OT||3–9–0|
|14||December 1, 1996||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 31–17||4–9–0|
|15||December 8, 1996||at Cincinnati Bengals||L 21–14||4–10–0|
|16||December 15, 1996||at Carolina Panthers||L 27–16||4–11–0|
|17||December 22, 1996||Houston Oilers||L 24–21||4–12–0|
|1996 Baltimore Ravens roster|
|1996 Baltimore Ravens staff|
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
Awards and records
- "Baltimore Ravens History (1946–1984)". Baltimoreravens.com. http://www.baltimoreravens.com/News/History/Baltimore_Football_History.aspx#1946. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- "Art Modell Baltimoreravens.com Profile". Baltimoreravens.com. http://www.baltimoreravens.com/People/Staff/Executive/Art_Modell.aspx. Retrieved 2010-02-10. "Modell purchased the Cleveland Browns for what was an unprecedented price of $4 million in 1961, and three decades later, in February of 1996, he brought an NFL franchise back to Baltimore. For Art and his club, the move was not an easy one to make – and it was not easy for the team’s fans to see their team go. Knowing this, Modell did not hesitate to leave the fans of Cleveland a legacy. He announced that he would give the name “Browns” to Cleveland for a future team. He also left the team’s colors (orange and brown) and the rich and storied" 49-year history (1946–1995)."
- "1996 NFL Standings". Pro-football-reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/1996/. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- "Ted Marchibroda Profile". Pro-football-reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/MarcTe0.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- "Balitmore Ravens History (1996)". Balitmoreravens.com. http://www.baltimoreravens.com/News/History/Baltimore_Football_History.aspx#1996. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- 1996 DVOA Ratings and Commentary
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 291
- 2009 Baltimore Ravens Media Guide. p. 50. http://www.baltimoreravens.com/News/Media_Guide.aspx. Retrieved February 15, 2010.