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What will be the toughest stretch in the Ravens schedule?

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Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Ravens enter the 2018 season looking to end a three-year playoff drought. With seven playoff teams scheduled (Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, New Orleans, Carolina, Atlanta and Kansas City), what stretch of this year’s campaign could prove to be the steepest climb?

In Week 2, the Ravens will compete in the greatly maligned Thursday night game on the road against divisional opponent Cincinnati, starting the season playing two games in just five days. However, the short turn around is somewhat ideal out the gate as the team should not be as plagued by injury as opposed to later in the year.

After heading to the Steelers in Week 4 for another installment in the rivalry, the Ravens should be able to catch a breather in Cleveland before entering arguably the toughest stretch of the year. From Week 6 to Week 9, Baltimore will face four of the seven playoff teams with half of those contests on the road.

The Ravens will compete in their third consecutive road game when they travel to Tennessee for their Week 6 match up. The Titans finished the 2017 at 9-7 and defeated Kansas City in the wild card weekend, ultimately losing to the Patriots in the divisional round.

Returning from their road trip, the Drew Brees-led Saints await at M&T Stadium for Week 7. The future Hall-of-Famer enters his 18th season in the league coming off a 4,334 yard, 23 touchdown season. Brees will look to vanquish his final foe, as the quarterback has been victorious over every other team in the league besides the Ravens.

In Week 8, the Ravens must face another star quarterback in Cam Newton when they visit the Panthers who finished the 2017 season 11-5, losing to the Saints in the wildcard round. Carolina leads the all-time regular season series 3-2, but the Ravens won their last meeting in 2014.

In the final week of this formidable stretch, the Ravens are tasked with round 2 of an always highly physical bout against Pittsburgh. Thankfully after this intense lineup of games, the Ravens will be able to recharge during their Week 10 bye. Still, Baltimore will be challenged in the final stretch of the year with games against the Falcons (Week 13), the Chiefs (Week 14) and the Chargers (Week 16).

Full 2018 Schedule:

WEEK 1 vs. Bills Sun., Sept. 9 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 2 @ Bengals Thu., Sept. 13 at 8:20 pm ET

WEEK 3 vs. Broncos Sun., Sept. 23 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 4 @ Steelers Sun., Sept. 30 at 8:20 pm ET

WEEK 5 @ Browns Sun., Oct. 7 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 6 @ Titans - Sun., Oct. 14 at 4:25 pm ET

WEEK 7 vs. Saints - Sun., Oct. 21 at 4:05 pm ET

WEEK 8 @ Panthers - Sun., Oct. 28 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 9 vs. Steelers - Sun., Nov. 4 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 10 BYE

WEEK 11 vs. Bengals - Sun., Nov. 18 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 12 vs. Raiders - Sun., Nov. 25 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 13 @ Falcons - Sun., Dec. 2 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 14 @ Chiefs - Sun., Dec. 9 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 15 vs. Buccaneers - Sun., Dec. 16 at 1:00 pm ET

WEEK 16 @ Chargers - Dec. 22 or 23 at TBD

WEEK 17 vs. Browns - Sun., Dec. 30 at 1:00 pm ET