Ravens Schedule Observations
It’s interesting how amped up fans can get about the release of a schedule. And give the NFL credit for fueling the drama. Normally I’m all over the schedule in order to begin preparation for some attractive road trips. Miami, Seattle and Ellll-Aaaay were the three games that intrigued me most.
So, after digesting the schedule, here are my takeaways…
• Ravens are the fourth team since 1978 to get an alternating home/away schedule.
• Baltimore begins the season with six consecutive 1 o’clock starts.
• The team’s first home game is against the Cardinals when they’ll welcome back Terrell Suggs in his first road trip as a former Raven. The Cardinals were (2-6) on the road last season.
• Games 1 and 2 are against rookie head coaches (Dolphins, Cardinals).
• Game three in Kansas City is a home opener for the Chiefs.
• The first trip out to the far west lands the Ravens in Seattle, a game that takes place after a 1PM home game and is followed by a bye.
• The Ravens first primetime game is at home against the Patriots in Week 9 following a Week 8 bye.
• Their second trip out west to LA is a Monday Night game on the heels of a Sunday 1PM home game against Houston.
• Following the game in LA the Ravens return home to host the 49ers. A short week following a west coast Monday Night game. Meanwhile the 49ers travel east after 3 consecutive home games.
• The Ravens have five games in December, three of which are at home, the last at M&T Bank Stadium against the Steelers.
• There is no scheduled primetime game between the Ravens and Steelers for the first time since 2006. That said, it’s possible that Week 17 could be flexed if that final game has playoff implications.
• During that 5-game stretch in December, the Ravens have modest traveling to Buffalo (December 8) and Cleveland (December 22).
• The Ravens will benefit from a mini-bye following their Thursday Night game at home against the Jets on December 12, a night when they’ll be reacquainted with Jets’ linebacker C.J. Mosley.
• Baltimore’s strength of schedule comes in at .496, tied for the 19th most difficult in the league.
Overall, it’s tough to complain about the way this schedule played out for John Harbaugh & Co., although the Ravens skipper didn’t get the home Monday Night game that he’s been campaigning for.
My only beef is Game 1. I always look forward to a road trip to South Florida but not in early September. Back on October 6, 2013 the Ravens visited the Dolphins, winning 26-23 on a Justin Tucker field goal with 1:42 to play. On that day it was said to be 87 degrees but it felt like 107. I’ll never forget the Bmore Around Town tailgate party where hundreds of people crowded under a few trees just to get a little reprieve from the blistering sun. It was less than ideal. The December trips to Flo-Ri-Da are preferred.
But other than this self-serving issue with this lineup of games, you really have to conclude that given the scheduled opponents that were known the day the 2018 regular season concluded, there’s really little to complain about.
Organizationally, the Ravens should be smiling and paying homage to the scheduling gods.
P.S. Props to @BarstoolBanks who posted the Ravens schedule at 6:22PM, 98 minutes before the team announced the dates and times.