The Season Promises to be Exciting
Looking ahead to the Ravens 2017 schedule, their season features some interesting games, attractive road trips and more frequent flyer miles.
Besides the AFC North road trips the Ravens travel to Nashville, Green Bay, Minneapolis, Oakland and London, where they’ll face the host Jacksonville Jaguars.
The London game has already been scheduled for September 24 which means that the Ravens September 17 game will more than likely be a home game. Most teams traveling across the pond play a home game before making the trip.
The Orioles are on the road on September 10, 17 and on October 1. It’s unlikely that the Ravens will want a bye as early as Week 4. It’s also unlikely that 3 of the Ravens first 4 games will be at home.
So with that in mind, my guess is that the first quarter of the Ravens season will look like this:
• 9/10: Away
• 9/17: Home
• 9/24: London v. Jaguars
• 10/1: Home
It’s unlikely that the 9/10 game is a time zone travel given the 3,654 mile, 8 hour flight to London 2 weeks later so the guess here is that it will be a divisional game or a trip to Nashville, which is in the Central Time Zone but just a short flight of 594 miles.
All tolled the Ravens will travel 18,480 air miles in 2017, up 2.64 times or 163.8% from the 7,006 miles logged in 2016. But for fans the list of road games is pretty impressive.
London calling could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Ravens play abroad and there are many who support the Ravens across the pond. Green Bay is definitely a bucket list roadie. It’s the city that is home to the NFL’s answer to the Vatican and then there’s the Packers NFC North rival the Vikings, home of US Bank Stadium, the league’s newest venue and the host site of Super Bowl 52.
And who among us can’t have a ton of fun in Nashville?
Oh and then there’s Oakland’s Black Hole where tickets should be cheap since the Raiders are abandoning the city…AGAIN! This antiquated hunk of concrete is more likely to be called the Empty Hole in 2017. Save your money.
Of course anytime there’s talk about a new schedule, the term strength of schedule (“SOS”) pops up. The Ravens have the 25th most difficult schedule in the NFL in 2017 but before you get too excited and think next season will be a romp through the park, keep a few things in mind:
1. The Ravens play the 1-15 Browns and the 6-9-1 Bengals twice which skews the SOS.
2. The Ravens play 8 games against teams that had 9+ wins in 2016
3. Teams can change dramatically from one year to the next. Remember the Jets dropped from 10-6 in 2015 to 5-11 in 2016 while the Cowboys climbed from 4-12 in 2015 to 13-3 in 2016.
That said, no matter how you look at it, 2017 promises to be an interesting season with a challenging set of opponents. Hopefully it will be a successful one.
Opening day is just 228 days away…