The Baltimore Ravens have had their share of frustrating losses along with some surprising victories in games that they've pulled out at the last minute (see San Diego Chargers game last season). No worry, Ravens fans, every team has these types of games every season.
So when we look at the Ravens 2013 regular season opponents, what game(s) stick out as potential disappointments? I'm not talking about the few games Baltimore will go into as underdogs, but ones that are either "pick 'em" or ones they are actually favored to win.
The games that ultimately end up being frustrating losses are the type we call, "Trap Games." The Ravens have been one of the best teams in the NFL at home, so it would have to be one or more of their road games that would fall into this category.
Baltimore travels to the Steelers and Bengals each season and both are rivals and tough teams, so to call a loss to either a "Trap Game" just wouldn't make any sense. They host the Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots, all playoff teams, so they are out of the equation as well.
That leaves the following road games as the possible traps: at the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and the Cincinnati Bengals. Since the Bengals game is week 17 and either or both teams could be resting its starters, it cannot be one of the options.
That leaves the Bills, Dolphins, Browns, Bear and Lions, all viable possibilities. The Bears are a potential playoff team, so I'm removing them from the list, since this is my article. The Browns are just that bad in my opinion, so I just cannot see the Ravens taking a divisional contest lightly enough to be in the position for an upset.
The group is now narrowed down to the Bills, Dolphins and Lions. The Ravens always seem to have the Dolphins number every time they play and I expect this coming season to be no different despite what Miami fans might think. Between Buffalo and Detroit, I just not impressed with the QB play of the Bills enough to be worried that the Ravens will stumble.
That leaves the Detroit Lions as my unfortunate pick as the most likely "Trap Game" in the 2013 season for the Ravens. The game will be played on national TV in prime time on Monday Night Football. The Ravens may be looking ahead to the following week,when they host the Patriots on Sunday Night Football with perhaps playoff seeding on the line.
Detroit had a miserable 4-12 season in 2012 after a 10-6 with a playoff appearance in the 2011 season. While they may not make the post season this year, they do not seem to be as bad as they were last season. Any team with WR Calvin Johnson has to be a threat and QB Matthew Stafford has an arm that could put up huge numbers at any time.
What is your "Trap Game" on the Baltimore Ravens 2013 regular season schedule?