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Baltimore Ravens schedule something worth noting before seasons start

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Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens schedule this season is a double-edged sword.

With an easy beginning, but a heavy finale, the Baltimore Ravens could swing one of two ways.

  1. Generate success early, knock the rust off against last years weaker squads, then come ready to face off against more difficult squads.
  2. Get rolled up on early in the season, and before you know it the snowball effect stacks up the losses.

fivethirtyeight.com believes the Baltimore Ravens have the heaviest backloaded schedule in the NFL this season.

"For instance, the Baltimore Ravens’ schedule should help them get off to a hot start in 2016. The Ravens begin the season against the Bills, Browns, Jaguars, Raiders and Redskins, teams that went a combined 32-48 last year," says writer Chase Stuart. "But down the stretch, Baltimore travels to New England, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, three of the AFC’s four best teams by point differential last season. This back-loaded schedule could have the Ravens in playoff contention all year long, creating a narrative that the team "choked" away a postseason berth after hitting that brutal end-of-year stretch."

No doubt he’s preaching the words of truth. The last four on the schedule are heavy hitters.

@ New England
VS. Philadelphia
@ Pittsburgh
@ Cincinnati

Three teams were play-off squads last season.

New England with Tom Brady at home is going to be a tough match-up.
Philadelphia is an NFC East squad that could heat up at any time.
Pittsburgh at home will be tough. We’ve had recent success, but this is the AFC North, where ‘any given sunday’ is reality.
Going to Cincinnati to finish the season once again. . . While we’ve punished Pittsburgh the past few games, Cincinnati has bludgeoned Baltimore repeatedly, namely Agent A.J. Green assassinating the win column.

If by the end of week 12 Baltimore sits at either 8-4 or 7-5, but finishes 9-7 or worse the narrative of choke artist will be surrounding the Ravens. These losses will also jump one AFC North team up the division, while also forcing the Ravens to fight for a Wild Card or boot them from the post season entirely.