Based off the 2019 season’s winning percentages, the Baltimore Ravens will face the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL. The reigning AFC North champions also have the luxury of avoiding any matchups against foes fresh off their bye week, and have an unusually manageable travel schedule.
Nonetheless, the Ravens will square off against each of the three teams that defeated them last season. The schedule also includes five primetime showdowns as well as 10 contests against expected playoff contenders.
Each game ranked by level of difficulty:
16. Week 16 - vs New York Giants
Baltimore should be double digits favorites two days after Christmas when they host the Giants. New head coach Joe Judge’s underwhelming linebacker corps should be a significant issue when facing Lamar Jackson and the Ravens rushing attack.
15. Week 15 - vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Even on a short week following a road Monday Night game, the Ravens could overwhelm Doug Marrone’s rebuilding Jaguars. Jacksonville does roster several promising young receivers and pass rushers.
14. Week 4 - at Washington Redskins
For the quick trip to Prince George’s county, the schedule makers arranged another highly winnable short-week game against a rebuilding team. The Redskins fierce defensive front will test Baltimore’s reconfigured offensive line.
13. Week 5 - vs Cincinnati Bengals
Intra-division battles are always hard fought, yet the Bengals are 0-3 against Lamar Jackson and were winless on the road last season. After signing D.J. Reader to line-up alongside Geno Atkins, Cincinnati presents another early season inspection of the interior blockers.
12. Week 17 - at Cincinnati Bengals
The first contest of the 2021 calendar year might be meaningless for both teams. Still, a road game against Cincinnati’s talented skill position playmakers should not be overlooked.
11. Week 7 - vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The Ravens needed overtime to win their first game against the Steelers last year. Pittsburgh will return most of the pieces from their formidable defense but their offense is aging and injury-prone.
10. Week 1 - vs Cleveland Browns
The Browns dealt the Ravens an embarrassing Week 4 home loss in 2019. Furthermore, Cleveland has added bookend offensive tackles and bolstered their secondary this offseason.
9. Week 2 - at Houston Texans
Last season, Baltimore thoroughly dominated a Houston team that has since traded away perhaps their best player, DeAndre Hopkins. The game script could break differently on the road, but the Texans pass defense is a major weakness.
8. Week 10 - at New England Patriots
The Patriots are expected to field one of the least inspiring offenses in the league next season. Nevertheless, Bill Belichick remains the best strategist around and this Sunday night trip to Foxboro represents the only consecutive road contest on the schedule.
7. Week 11 - vs Tennessee Titans
Tennessee may not match up well with Baltimore on paper, but they came on the road and ended the Ravens season in stunning fashion last January. The Ravens surely have this game circled and will be focused on revenge.
6. Week 9 - at Indianapolis Colts
Frank Reich had crafted an overachieving and well rounded group in Indianapolis before acquiring DeForest Buckner, Philip Rivers and Michael Pittman Jr. this offseason. Their bye week preceding this road tilt should benefit the Ravens.
5. Week 13 - vs Dallas Cowboys
The second straight Thursday game for both teams. Dallas’ top ranked offense added CeeDee Lamb to Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and a top notch offensive line. They are one of the few units capable of posing matchup problems for the Ravens defense.
4. Week 6 - at Philadelphia Eagles
Sandwiched between a pair of divisional homes games, this mid-October trip up I-95 could be a trap game. Philadelphia is equipped to win the game in the trenches after signing Javon Hargrave to complement Fletcher Cox.
3. Week 14 - at Cleveland Browns
By Week 14, the Browns should be assimilated into Kevin Stefanski’s system and motivated for a Monday night showcase. Meanwhile, the Ravens will enter Cleveland following a mini-bye week.
2. Week 12 - at Pittsburgh Steelers
The arch rivalry may have faded a bit, the new generation of Ravens swept Pittsburgh last season. Regardless, a Thanksgiving night road fight on a short week, following a physical battle the previous Sunday, will certainly be a challenging spot.
1. Week 3 - vs Kansas City Chiefs
With Baltimore hosting the defending Super Bowl champs on Monday night, this is the most anticipated date on the NFL’s calendar. Until proven otherwise, the Chiefs combination of explosive offense coupled with a disruptive defensive line earns them an edge in this matchup.