Baltimore Ravens: 1999
The Ravens had a tough time getting off the ground during their first three years in Baltimore. This was a team mired in controversy after their owner Art Modell moved the team from Cleveland due to financial issues and a lack of winning. Getting over that and back to the business of pursuing championships was taking longer than hoped. After finishing 1998 with a 6-10 record, the team hired Brian Billick to try and change their fortunes.
It didn’t start well in 1999. The team lost five of their first seven games including a couple of ugly blowouts at the hands of St. Louis and Kansas City. It looked like they were destined for another losing season. Then they received a sparks thanks to, ironically, the new Cleveland Browns franchise. The Ravens crushed them 41-9. That was the first of six wins in the final nine games of the season to finish a surprising 8-8.
That turnaround didn’t get to the playoffs, but it served as momentum for what happened the next year when Baltimore won their first Super Bowl.