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Post Draft Schedule Predictions

With a more acute sense of the roster, predictions must now be revisited.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Since I was the only writer who was feeling negative about the Ravens' season prospects, I will now take a second look.

Ravens fans will find out what kind of team they support very early in the season.

First Quarter: vs Bills, at Browns, at Jaguars, vs Raiders

Three of the first four games come against wild card and potentially division title challenging teams in the Buffalo Bills, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders. The third game sprinkled in between the three aforementioned teams will come on the road at the Cleveland Browns.

While that might have been looked at as a shoe-in win in the past, the Ravens were a blocked field goal away from being swept by the Browns. Take that in for a second. Now exhale. Close call. I believe the Ravens are likely to post a record of 2-2. But after the past draft, I believe the Bills game will be a win, as I had it as a loss. However, I cannot foresee the Ravens beating both the upstart Jaguars and the division title ready Raiders.

Second Quarter: vs Redskins, at Giants, at Jets, vs Steelers

This is a quarter that sees change. I thought this would be a 2-2 quarter but the Ravens defense has improved enough to pass the Redskins'. It will be a tough game but the good guys will prevail. The Giants offensive line is still not good enough to make them two dimensional and the Ravens have lately owned the Steelers. The second quarter ends with a 3-1 record.

Third Quarter: vs Browns, at Cowboys, vs Bengals, vs Dolphins

Another quarter that sees change. Unless Josh McCown tops his 457 passing yards from this years fixture, the Browns should go down. If healthy in the secondary, the Ravens are good enough to at least beat the Bengals at home. Tyler Boyd presents a downgrade from Marvin Jones and Shareece Wright an upgrade on Rashaan Melvin. The Cowboys will present a challenge that could be too hard to overcome. The Dolphins have to many questions on the coaching front for me to predict them eking out a road win. The record is again 3-1. Things would be looking good.

Fourth Quarter: at Patriots, vs Eagles, at Steelers, at Bengals

And way down in the hole they go. The Ravens are known as a strong December team. This time however, they falter down the stretch and see their fortunes change. The early part of the schedule features non-playoff teams. December will feature 3 potential juggernauts without the help of home advantage. The only win will come against the Eagles, who will be starting a rookie quarterback and are in the process of rebuilding their offense.

The Patriots, Rob Gronkowski and now Martellus Bennett will again be proven to be too much as the Ravens do not yet possess the personnel to match up with their between-the-numbers passing game. The Bengals and the Steelers take revenge in their respective reverse fixtures being backed by their home crowd. The Ravens finish the season 1-3.

Conclusion:

Before the draft, I had he Ravens finishing the season at 6-10. I think enough talent has been added to take their record to 9-7. A winning record that could be enough to squeak into the playoffs if the matches against team like the Bills, Jaguars and Raiders go their way. Tie breakers will play a key part in the final equation.