Photo: helmetaddict
Photo: helmetaddict

Baltimore has a much tougher schedule this year as opposed to in 2020, where they held the easiest schedule in the league.

In 2021, the Ravens will face off against the teams in the AFC North two times each, while also playing the AFC West, the NFC North, the Miami Dolphins, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Los Angeles Rams. There are opportunities within that list of opponents to have a galore of primetime matchups and plenty of great football games.

Here are three predictions for Baltimore’s 2021 schedule.

Baltimore Ravens schedule 2021

The Ravens will open the season at Las Vegas on Sept. 13 in a Monday Night Football matchup, at 8:15 p.m. ET.

  • Home: Steelers, Browns, Bengals, Chiefs, Colts, Chargers, Packers, Vikings, Rams
  • Away: Steelers, Browns, Bengals, Raiders, Broncos, Bears, Lions, Dolphins
Week Date Opponent Kickoff time TV
1 Sept. 13 at Raiders 8:15 p.m. ET ESPN
2 Sept. 19 vs. Chiefs 8:20 p.m. ET NBC
3 Sept. 26 at Lions 1 p.m. ET CBS
4 Oct. 3 at Broncos 4:25 p.m. ET CBS
5 Oct. 11 vs. Colts 8:15 p.m. ET ESPN
6 Oct. 17 vs. Chargers 1 p.m. ET CBS
7 Oct. 24 vs. Bengals 1 p.m. ET CBS
8 Oct. 31 BYE ———— ——
9 Nov. 7 vs. Vikings 1 p.m. ET Fox
10 Nov. 11 at Dolphins 8:20 p.m. ET Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime Video
11 Nov. 21 at Bears 1 p.m. ET CBS
12 Nov. 28 vs. Browns 8:20 p.m. ET NBC
13 Dec. 5 at Steelers 4:25 p.m. ET CBS
14 Dec. 12 at Browns 1 p.m. ET CBS
15 Dec. 19 vs. Packers 1 p.m. ET Fox
16 Dec. 26 at Bengals 1 p.m. ET CBS
17 Jan. 2 vs. Rams 4:25 p.m. ET Fox
18 Jan. 9 vs. Steelers 1 p.m. ET CBS

Baltimore has a total of eight games against teams that reached the NFL playoffs last season, but five of those games are at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens are 30-7 with Jackson as the starter, and it is a break to catch the Chiefs and Packers at home instead of the road.

The Ravens will have road games against playoff teams in Pittsburgh and Cleveland — and the other game is against Chicago. Baltimore lost three road games to playoff teams last season, Sporting news reported.


Photo: baltimoreravens
Photo: baltimoreravens

The schedule is loaded with tough battles outside the division, including home games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers. There are nine total games against playoff teams from last season, plus a tough matchup against the 10-win Miami Dolphins.

Many of these games will be especially hard on the defense, which lost key pass-rushers like Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency.

The good news is the Ravens have overcome these types of losses before, most recently with Judon stepping up after the departures of Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith. It will be up to players such as Tyus Bowser, Jaylon Ferguson, rookie first-round pick Jayson Oweh and others to fill the role and provide pressure from the outside.

Patrick Queen will still be a key player in the middle of the defense, while cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters remain strengths of the team.

It will help the Ravens as they continue their trend of being one of the top defensive teams in the NFL each year.

Pivotal Matchups

Even with several high-profile games on the schedule, the most important battles will be in the division between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.

Pittsburgh faded down the stretch after an 11-0 start last season, but Ben Roethlisberger will be back for more and has won his last three starts against the Ravens.

Cleveland will be even more dangerous while returning most of the core that went 11-5 last season with the franchise's first playoff win since 1994.

It will be up to Jackson to prove he is the best quarterback in the division with consistent play in big games, something he has struggled with at times in his young career.

The Ravens added more weapons to help strengthen the passing attack including Sammy Watkins, Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace, while J.K. Dobbins appears ready to take over the run game alongside Gus Edwards.

Baltimore has to live up to the sum of its parts for another trip to the playoffs and possibly more.

Ravens key games

  • Week 12 vs. Browns: The Ravens sweep of the Browns in 2020 allowed Baltimore to finish just ahead of Cleveland in the final standings. Continued success against the Browns would go a long way in Baltimore winning its third division crown since 2018.
  • Week 2 vs. Chiefs: Had Baltimore been able to get past Buffalo, this would have been last year's AFC title game. As is the case for every AFC team, the Ravens will measure themselves against the team that has represented the conference in the previous two Super Bowls.
  • Week 10 at Dolphins: Outside of divisional opponents, the Ravens won't face any team on the road that made the playoffs in 2020. The best of that bunch is the Dolphins, who barely missed the playoffs following a 10-6 record. This is a nice test against a formidable foe, Cbssports predicted.

Ravens’ strength of schedule and win/loss prediction

Photo: usatoday
Photo: usatoday

With the 13th toughest schedule in the 2021 NFL season, the Ravens are intriguingly poised. The positive is that they have the second easiest road schedule, giving them a great opportunity to pick up valuable wins away from home. At home, however, their schedule ranks as the third toughest in the league.

Toughest opponents

The 2021 NFL schedule will see the Ravens play four games against teams projected to win 10 or more games. Thankfully, all four of those games come at home as they all were playoff teams in 2020. They are the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers, and Los Angeles Rams.

The Chiefs are Ravens’ battles have garnered huge intrigue since Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes were drafted. The Chiefs have had the Ravens number in each of the last three seasons. That is a pattern the Ravens will be hoping to reverse in 2021.

2020 saw the Ravens manhandle the Colts 24-10, so Baltimore will be confident of a result on home soil. This will be the first time the Jackson-led Ravens have faced the Packers, and that game will very much depend on the availability of Aaron Rodgers. The Ravens’ “17th game” will seem them host the Rams. In 2019, Baltimore beat the Rams 45-6 in Los Angeles, with Jackson throwing 5 touchdowns.

Easiest opponents

Not a single one of the Ravens’ road opponents on their 2021 schedule are expected to win double-digit games. Three games are against teams projected to win seven games or fewer. They will also play one game at home against a team projected to win just five games.

The Ravens will have two meetings against the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore has won five straight against Cincinnati and allowed them to score a combined six points in the two matchups last season. Even with Joe Burrow expected back under center in 2021, the Ravens will be confident of sweeping the Bengals once again.

The Ravens will also matchups with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. Facing the Bears in Chicago is always tough, but the Ravens’ offense is well suited to playing in whatever conditions Soldier Field throws their way in that matchup. The Lions are somewhat of an unknown, but the Ravens should be confident of coming away from that matchup with a victory, Pro football network cited.

2021 season prediction

The Ravens’ 2021 schedule is by no means easy, but they have a roster capable of beating any opponent. The games within their division against the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will be crucial for the Ravens to have their eyes on the No. 1 seed.

Overall, this schedule has plenty of opportunities for Baltimore to string together victories. It is hard to see teams stopping Jackson and this offense on a consistent basis. The biggest question surrounding Baltimore is really whether they can string together wins in the playoffs in 2021?

Projected 2021 record: 12-5

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens, an American professional gridiron football team based in Baltimore, Maryland, that plays in the American Football Conference (AFC) of the National Football League (NFL). A relatively young franchise, having played their first game in 1996, the Ravens nevertheless won Super Bowl titles in 2001 and 2013.

The Ravens originated when Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell decided to relocate his historic franchise, and he reached a deal with the city of Baltimore to move his team in 1996. As part of the agreement, Cleveland kept the Browns’ name, history, and colors for a future replacement team, so the newly renamed Ravens—the moniker stems from the famous poem by Baltimorean Edgar Allan Poe—were technically an expansion team. The franchise’s first draft selection was linebacker Ray Lewis, who quickly became one of the most dominant players in the NFL and helped forge the Ravens’ reputation as a team known for its ferocious defense, according to Britannica.

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