They may not count, but the preseason games are very important to NFL teams looking to fill out its rosters. Today, the Ravens annouced its 2017 preseason schedule.
Like in 2016, the Ravens will open the preseason at home. But this year, the Ravens will face the Washington Redskins. The two squads faced off in Week 5 of the 2016 regular season. Washington won as Breshad Perriman was unable to get both feet down in the endzone for what would have been the game winning touchdown. The Redskins have beaten the Ravens in six of the nine preseason matchups between the two.
Next, the Ravens will head to Miami to face the Dolphins. In 2016, the Ravens played its best game of the year against the Dolphins in a dominating 38-6 victory. This game will be played on either August 18 or 19. The Dolphins and Ravens have never played each other in the preseason.
For the second straight year, the Ravens will get the all-important third preseason game at home. The third preseason game is the final dress rehearsal for starters for the regular season, as they will almost always sit in the fourth and final game. The starters will also play for the longest time in this third game. The Ravens will welcome former Raven Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills to Baltimore for that game. This should be a good test for the Ravens revamped secondary if the Bills are able to land Mike Williams in the draft. The Ravens beat the Bills in Week 1 last season. The date for this game is not set in stone yet either. It will occur on either August 25 or 26. The Ravens are 1-2 against the Bills in the preseason.
Finally, the Ravens will close the preseason in New Orleans against the Saints for the second straight year, and the fourth straight year that the two will play. Last year, Michael Pierce had his breakout game that ultimately led to his making the roster. In addition, we got our first glimpse at Perriman in that game.
The Ravens will not get any cupcakes in preseason. But what's important is not the results, but how the players and the team will grow in the leadup to the regular season. We still have a long way to go until the 2017 season, but after this exciting offseason, all Ravens fans are eagerly looking forward to it.
The Ravens announced that the kickoff times, as well the official dates for the second and third game, will be released at a later time.