Now that the schedule-makers have had their say, it’s time to break down the schedules of the Ravens’ AFC North rivals a little more closely.
Among the most notable aspects of this year’s schedule is that the AFC North race could have a lot of clarity early, with the Ravens playing both games against Cincinnati and the Steelers and one against Cleveland before Week 9.
Here are a few other key schedule highlights for each of the other AFC North teams:
CINCINNATI BENGALS (Complete schedule):
For the third time in seven years, the Bengals open at M&T Bank Stadium against the Ravens. That’s a tough Week 1 draw for anyone. Unlike the Ravens, who will see the Steelers twice in the first nine weeks, the Bengals won’t face Pittsburgh at all until December. Then the Bengals and Steelers square off twice in the final four weeks, including the season finale at Pittsburgh. The Bengals have an early bye in Week 4, but that gives them a long week before facing the Patriots in Week 5.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (Complete schedule):
The Browns have a new coach and major questions at quarterback, but won’t exactly have the luxury of easing into the season as they face the Steelers, Saints and Ravens in the first three weeks, albeit the latter two at home. The middle of the schedule is favorable, but the Browns face a brutal final month, facing Indianapolis and Cincinnati at home before ending the season at Carolina and at Baltimore. A Week 4 bye means no rest for the weary late in the season, which could make that last month seem even longer.
To see how the Pittsburgh Steelers schedule and their FIVE Prime Time games shake out CLICK HERE