Armstead: Negated Pick-Six "Absolutely" Changed Super Bowl XXXV

Former Giants linebacker Jessie Armstead's pick-six was called back against the Ravens, and it may have altered the outcome of the game

The DA Show
May 20, 2020 - 11:13 am

The 2000 Baltimore Ravens had one of the best defenses in NFL history and rode that unit to a 34-7 win over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. 

If not for a holding call against the Giants, however, that game could have unfolded a little differently, as linebacker Jessie Armstead’s 43-yard pick-six was called back in the second quarter. 

What if that call didn’t happen and the score stood? Does it change the game?

“Yeah, absolutely it’s a different ball game,” Armstead said on The DA Show. “I got the interception and ran it back for a touchdown. When I’m walking back, the referee – the other ref – told me, ‘There’s no way you make that call.’”

Had the interception stood, the Giants would have tied the game at 7-7, provided the extra point was good.

“We would have tied the game, but now they kick a field goal after that and they go up 10-0 on us,” Armstead said. “The Ravens had a hard defense. It was an uphill climb for our offense and for us as a team after that. It would have been a big booster for the whole team. We got so much energy after that play, but then they took it right away from us.”

The Ravens went up 17-0 before Ron Dixon returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. The Giants, however, didn’t score again, as quarterback Kerry Collins threw four interceptions.

Armstead and his former teammates still talk about that pick-six to this day.

“We lost the game and we hated it for our fans and for the ownership,” Armstead said. “In that trophy case, it should be five Super bowl championships, and there’s four. That’s something that [angers] me today because it’s four instead of five in there.”

Armstead, a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, eventually got a ring with the Giants. He served as a special assistant and consultant for the Giants when they beat the previously undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

While Armstead would have loved to have won a ring as a player, he is happy to have gotten one as an advisor.

“It will never be negative in my mind,” he said. “Anytime you tell any kid or anybody you gave everything you have out there on that field, you don’t walk away with your head down. I’m glad I got an opportunity now to keep on pushing hard to try to get another championship to replace that one.”