The 2013 schedule has released, and it is capped by key “rematch” games all around the league. The NFL did a great job arranging primetime games to be entertaining for fans around the country (unless we are talking about Bills-Browns on Thursday night… seriously, what is that?)
The defending World Champion Baltimore Ravens have their path to another Super Bowl appearance mapped out; now it’s their job to take over and get some crucial victories early.
The word early was the key word in that sentence, with purpose.
I had thought the league would give the Ravens some favor at the end of the season, since they robbed them of a home game in week one. Instead, the final three games all prove to be tough ones.
Week 15 in Detroit may seem like an easy matchup, but all of the factors that surround the game make it anything but a cakewalk. John Harbaugh’s team will have to travel to the cold of Michigan to face the Lions, who could develop to be a decent team this year. To make it worse, it’s a Monday night game—which we all know means anything can and will happen.
Week 16 is at home, but will consist of a rematch of the AFC Championship game as the Ravens play host to Tom Brady and the Pats.
I love this matchup and can’t wait to see the game, but does it really have to be the second to last game of the season? Every game counts at this point in the year, and I can’t imagine a scenario where this game will be a blowout either way. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles, but it surely is a very unfortunate time for a game that could decide seeding in the AFC.
Traveling to Cincinnati for the final game isn’t the toughest game on the schedule, but everyone knows that playing a divisional game on the road in week 17 can decide many things. Andy Dalton and Co. will certainly be in the playoff race and fighting hard in their final game is something that they are used to.
It’s not something that you can read into now. After all—it’s only April. But stacking up wins early will be a nice luxury when they go on the road for two of the final three games.
This team is resilient, and they surely won’t care who stands in their way at any time. The road games against Buffalo and Miami would be nice in weeks 16 and 17, but the Ravens are known for doing the best with the hand they are dealt.