After a season that saw injury after injury happen the the Baltimore Ravens and have them still come as close as they did to being in the Super Bowl, the NFL awarded their hard work and consistency with an amazing five primetime games.
Week 4 - Oct 01 - 8:25PM - At Steelers
Week 7 - Oct 26 - 8:30PM - At Cardinals
Week 12 - Nov 30 - 8:30PM - At Browns
Week 14 - Dec 13 - 8:30PM - Seahawks
Week 16 - Dec 27 - 8:30PM - Steelers
No surprise that the Ravens will see the Steelers in primetime. What has become one of the best rivalries in all of the NFL with hard hits, great defense and tough running; that is the game that makes the NFL the NFL.
Next up is the Cardinals in week seven. Arizona is still surprising some people with outstanding defensive play last year (ranked 5th to Baltimore's 6th in points allowed per game). A playoff team last year, they still have Larry Fitzgerald, which should be an interesting matchup against newly extended Jimmy Smith.
The weirdest game by far is on week 12 against the Browns. The Browns finished the 2014 season at the bottom of the AFC North with a 7-9 record and were embroiled in turmoil all offseason with Johnny "Football" Manziel and Josh Gordon's antics. While these games are always hard fought contests, it is surprising to see the Browns get the nod over the Bengals as a primetime foe.
Week 14 was inevitable as the Ravens face off against the Super Bowl losers. A tale of two great franchises that have been the model of consistency the past few years, the NFL is excited to see the ratings of this game. Fans should be excited too as they get a chance to really show that M&T Bank Stadium can be just as loud as anything Seattle has to offer.
Finally, the Ravens see their final Monday night game against the Steelers in week 16. A game that is sure to mean everything to the AFC North standings, this not only has the Ravens and Steelers rivalry going for it, but likely will be a large part of determining who holds the AFC North crown at the end of the year and maybe even bye weeks. Of course, the Ravens could see the Steelers a few weeks later in the playoffs as has been customary between these two juggernauts over the past decade.
Very few people expected the Ravens to walk away tonight with more than three primetime games. Not counting in the other three 4 O'Clock games that the Ravens have in 2015, notching five big games like this really goes to show who the NFL thinks will be relevant come January.