Jump to content
ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Ravens Insider: Five things to know about the Ravens’ 2024 schedule release


ExtremeRavens

Recommended Posts

The Ravens already know they will play the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs in Kansas City to kick off the 2024 NFL season Sept. 5 on “Thursday Night Football” in what will be a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game. What about the rest of Baltimore’s schedule?

The NFL will announce its full slate of games on Wednesday.

As for the Ravens, who went 6-3 at home and 13-4 overall last season to finish with the NFL’s best record and the AFC’s top seed, they’ll play eight home games in 2024. In addition to their usual slate of six games against the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, they’ll face the AFC West, NFC East and the defending champions of the AFC East, AFC South and NFC South.

With the rest of the Ravens’ schedule set to be announced, here are five things to know:

Who will the Ravens play at home?

In addition to games at M&T Bank Stadium against the Steelers, Browns and Bengals, Baltimore will host two neighbors from the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Commanders. Other home opponents include the reigning AFC East champion Buffalo Bills and the AFC West’s Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders.

The last time the Ravens hosted the Commanders was in 2016, when Jamison Crowder’s 85-yard punt return for a touchdown and a strong defensive effort propelled Washington to a 16-10 victory. The Ravens won the most recent meeting, however, with quarterback Lamar Jackson throwing two touchdown passes and running for a 50-yard score to lead a 31-17 victory at FedEx Field in 2020.

The Ravens’ most recent game against the Eagles was also in 2020. Baltimore raced out to a 17-0 lead and held on, 30-28, with outside linebacker Matthew Judon stopping quarterback Carson Wentz on a 2-point conversion attempt with 1:55 remaining.

Who will the Ravens play on the road?

After logging 25,442 travel miles (sixth-most in the NFL) last season, which included a trip to London, two to California and one to Arizona, the Ravens will spend less time in the air this year.

In addition to games at Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati, Baltimore will again travel to Los Angeles for what’s likely to be a prime-time showdown against the Chargers and Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s younger brother, Jim. But Baltimore will also have much shorter road trips with games at the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants.

Speaking of the NFC, Jackson is 18-1 in his career against the conference since taking over as the full-time starter in 2019. That one loss? Against the Giants at MetLife Stadium in 2022.

The Texans, meanwhile, will be looking to avenge last season’s regular-season and divisional round losses at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore beat Houston, 25-9, in Week 1 and surged to a 34-10 playoff victory Jan. 20.

And though the Ravens and Cowboys faced off in 2020 (a 34-17 Baltimore victory at M&T Bank Stadium), it will be the first meeting between Jackson and Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, with Prescott missing the prior affair because of a season-ending ankle injury.

How many prime-time games will the Ravens have?

After four prime-time games last season, it seems likely the Ravens will have at least that many in 2024, especially with Jackson being the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player.

In addition to the opener against the Chiefs, the next-most obvious candidate for prime time would be the Chargers in “Harbaugh Bowl III.” The last time the Harbaugh brothers faced each other as coaches was in Super Bowl 47 at the end of the 2012 season, when the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31. The two also met during the 2011 regular season, with the Ravens winning 16-6 on Thanksgiving.

Other possible Ravens matchups for prime-time include the Cowboys, Eagles, Texans, Bills and Steelers.

Will the Ravens play another international game or on Christmas again?

Last year, the Ravens played in London for the first time since 2017, defeating the Tennessee Titans, 24-16, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Don’t expect another six-year gap between overseas trips, but Baltimore won’t be venturing across the pond for a second straight year, either.

Of the five “home” teams the NFL announced for its international series — the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Eagles — only the Eagles are on the Ravens’ schedule. But it has already been announced that Philadelphia will play the Green Bay Packers in Brazil on Sept. 6.

As for Christmas, the NFL held three games on the holiday last season, when it fell on a Monday. That included a blockbuster showdown between the Ravens and 49ers, won handily by Baltimore.

This year, Christmas falls on a Wednesday. While that’s not typically a day of the week the NFL holds games, it will this year after seeing last season’s big television ratings. There will be two Christmas games in 2024, and while they have yet to be announced, it seems unlikely the NFL would put Baltimore in that spot for a second straight year.

Other holiday games include Thanksgiving Day — the Ravens were set to play the Steelers on that day in 2020 before the coronavirus outbreak pushed kickoff back a week — and the new “Black Friday” game exclusively on Prime Video.

Which teams have the toughest and easiest schedules?

The AFC North was the best division in the NFL last season, as all four teams finished above .500 with a combined record of 43-25. Their reward? The Browns, Ravens and Steelers rank first, second and third in strength of schedule, at least based on last season’s opponent winning percentage.

The Ravens’ 2024 opponents posted a 155-134 mark last season. In terms of projected win totals for next season, the Ravens have the fourth toughest schedule behind the Steelers, New England Patriots and Browns, according to Sharp Football Analysis.

The Ravens did draw the toughest assignment by one simple metric: playoff opponents.

Baltimore’s schedule includes 10 games against 2023 playoff teams, which is one more than the Bengals, 49ers and Cowboys will each face. That’s an uptick from last season, when the Ravens played seven teams that made the 2022 playoffs.

At the other end of the spectrum are the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. Their 2024 opponents each had a combined record of 131-158 last season, just behind the combined record of teams that will face the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers.

The Chiefs, who ended Baltimore’s 2023 season before going on to win the Super Bowl over the 49ers, tied for the 16th toughest schedule, while San Francisco tied for the 12th most difficult.

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...