The Jacksonville Jaguars advanced to the AFC Championship Game with a dominant defense, a powerful rookie running back and a frequently disrespected quarterback.
Sound familiar? Yes, that's Trent Dilfer nodding his head.
Nearly two decades after the Baltimore Ravens first hoisted up the Lombardi Trophy, the Jaguars are making a Super Bowl run by following a similar script.
The Jaguars' defense put up numbers in the regular season that rival the historic Ravens defense in 2000. Leonard Fournette is the centerpiece of the offense, much like Jamal Lewis was for Baltimore 17 seasons ago.
And quarterback Blake Bortles is filling the embattled quarterback role of Dilfer, who unceremoniously carries the title of "worst quarterback to win a Super Bowl."
In the regular season, Bortles ranked 39th in the NFL with a 84.7 passer rating, which was right behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. In 2000, Dilfer was 46th with a 76.6 rating, which was below Brock Huard.
In his first two playoff games, Bortles was 26-of-49 (53 percent) for 301 yards passing. Dilfer was 14-of-30 (47 percent) for 247 yards passing in his first two postseason starts.
Bortles and Dilfer even handle the criticism in the same brush-it-off-the-shoulder manner.
This is Bortles: “I couldn’t care less what anyone in the world says about me. I enjoy going to work every day with those guys in that locker room and the coaching staff.”
This was Dilfer during Super Bowl week: "You make a choice of what you're going to listen to and what you aren't. I have no problem with saying that my teammates carried me. They carried me."
Like the Ray Lewis-led Ravens' 2000 team, Jacksonville was carried for most of the season by its defense (even though the Jaguars' defense wasn't at its suffocating best in a 45-42 divisional playoff win in Pittsburgh). The Jaguars finished No. 1 in fewest yards and No. 2 in fewest points in addition to sacks and takeaways.
This year's Jaguars and the 2000 Ravens are among the three since 2000 to hold teams to fewer than 10 points in at least half of their games in the regular season. Jacksonville also allowed fewer passing yards per game than Baltimore in 2000 and produced 20 more sacks.
On offense, Fournette immediately lived up to the top-five-pick billing like Jamal Lewis. Fournette, the No. 4 overall pick, ran for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns. Lewis, the No. 5 overall pick, gained 1,364 yards rushing and scored six touchdowns in his first season.
How unusual is it for a first-year back to lead a championship run? If Fournette can help Jacksonville to a win this Sunday, he would become just the third rookie running back to start in a Super Bowl since Lewis. The others were Indianapolis' Joseph Addai (2009) and Green Bay's James Starks (2010).
The other similarity is the swagger despite the lack of postseason success.
The Ravens were boastful and bold in the franchise's first postseason. Some teams guarantee victories leading up to the Super Bowl. The Ravens talked about a shutout.
"They don’t score, they don’t win," Ray Lewis said. "I’ll predict a win."
The Jaguars carry that same brazen attitude through these playoffs despite not having appeared in the postseason since 2007. That didn't hold back cornerback Jalen Ramsey from speaking his mind while speaking to thousands of fans at EverBank Field, who had gathered to welcome the team home after their victory over the Steelers.
"We are going to the Super Bowl, and we are going to win that b----," Ramsey said. "We are going to win that b----."
If the Jaguars do win the Super Bowl, Jacksonville could part ways with Bortles. That's something a championship team hasn't done since, well, you know. Yes, that's Trent Dilfer nodding his head.