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Ranking the most anticipated matchups from the Ravens 2020 schedule

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NFL: SEP 22 Ravens at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last night the NFL officially released the 2020 schedule for all 32 teams.

For the Ravens, their schedule includes five prime time contests and a bevy of other interesting matchups. All 16 games should be highly-anticipated, but some project to be especially more tantalizing. Which games should you be looking forward to the most?

Let’s break them down from in order of least exciting to most exciting. Be sure to chime in with your own thoughts and rankings below!

16) Ravens vs. Giants, Week 16 (1:00 p.m. ET)

This matchup and the one listed directly below could have been flipped, but the lack of compelling (perceived) storylines in this Week 16 showdown with the Giants is glaring.

Baltimore has yet to face Daniel Jones nor Saquon Barkley in their respective careers, as the Giants and Ravens have not played each other since 2016. New York won that contest by a score of 27-23 but this time around, the script should be flipped in a big way.

The Giants are in a bit of rebuilding mode to say the least, and while they have compiled some talented pieces over the past two years, they don’t figure to be very competitive in 2020, especially traveling to M&T Bank Stadium in the second-to-last game of the season.

The Ravens are at home, playing against a significantly inferior opponent and ideally will have locked up a playoff spot by this point in the season. Not a recipe for an enticing game.

15) Ravens vs. Jaguars, Week 15 (1:00 p.m. ET)

Next at the bottom of the barrel is a showdown with the Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 15, just one week prior to the Giants game. Jacksonville, at least on paper, figures to be one of the cellar-dwellers in the NFL this year and will likely finish with a worse record than the Giants.

However, what makes this matchup slightly more tantalizing than the Week 16 game is the potential for a Calais Campbell revenge game. This will mark the first time that Campbell has faced his former team since they traded him to Baltimore in the offseason.

Campbell should wreak havoc against a porous Jaguars offensive line and make life miserable for his former teammate, QB Gardner Minshew II. “Minshew Mania” also makes for a potentially entertaining watch but outside of those two storylines, there isn’t much here.

14) Ravens @ Bengals, Week 17 (1:00 p.m. ET)

Rounding out a trio of end-of-the-year games is the season finale in Cincinnati, a place the Ravens are all too familiar with. Facing off against rookie QB Joe Burrow makes for an exciting storyline but the Ravens will have already done that come Week 17.

In all likelihood, the Bengals will either be trying to play spoiler and do damage to Baltimore’s playoff positioning or the Ravens will be resting some of their starters, the latter of which would occur if they’ve already secured a top-seed in the AFC by the final game.

The fact that it is the last game of the season, though, and comes against a division rival gives this matchup a slight edge over the two aforementioned games.

13) Ravens @ Redskins, Week 4 (1:00 p.m. ET)

You might be thinking that this game should have been the first one on the list, and there’s certainly an argument to be made for just that. However, the Ravens and Redskins are local rivals and rarely play each other.

Whenever they do face off every few years, it usually makes for an interesting game. Both teams are in widely different places since their last matchup in 2016. Believe it or not, though, the Redskins have won each of the past two games against Baltimore.

The Ravens will be looking to reclaim regional dominance and should practically be playing a home game at FedEx Field, which is a short trip for the Ravens faithful.

12) Ravens @ Eagles, Week 6 (1:00 p.m. ET)

In Week 12, the Ravens make a short trip up north to Philadelphia to take on Carson Wentz and the Eagles. This could potentially end up being a sneaky-entertaining matchup but isn’t enticing enough to be placed higher on the list.

On the field, the Eagles could very well give Baltimore one of their tougher challenges of the season. They’re well-coached, added some offensive firepower in the offseason and have a strong home-field advantage.

Off the field, though, it’s easy to forget that Philadelphia attempted to poach both James Urban and Bobby Engram off the Ravens’ coaching staff earlier in the offseason. Urban and Engram ultimately spurned them and opted to stay put in Baltimore.

11) Ravens @ Colts, Week 9 (1:00 p.m. ET)

During John Harbaugh’s tenure, the Ravens have historically been very successful in their first post-bye game. They’ll look to continue this streak of good fortune against the new-look Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Like the Eagles, the potential exists for this to be a competitive game. The Colts boast a strong rushing attack and QB Philip Rivers, playing his first season with his new team, is more than capable of churning out a throwback performance.

Last time the Ravens faced off against Rivers, he was a member of the Chargers and defeated Baltimore on their home turf in the 2018 playoffs.

10) Ravens @ Texans, Week 2 (4:25 p.m. ET)

In the second game of the season, the Ravens travel across the country to play the Texans in Houston. The Texans will be looking to avenge their 34-point loss to Baltimore in 2019.

There’s only two reasons why this game could be higher on the list: Deshaun Watson and because it’s being played at 4:25 in the afternoon rather than at 1:00. Other than that, there isn’t all that much to be excited about.

The Texans no longer have All-Pro WR Deandre Hopkins, who was one of the biggest appeals and draws on their roster. Hopkins and CB Marcus Peters had an entertaining back-and-forth battle last season and it’s a shame we won’t get to see that unfold again.

However, Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson doing battle is more than enough reason to be excited for this showdown. Jackson got the best of Watson last year but the latter has a new set of playmakers around him in Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb and David Johnson.

9) Ravens vs. Steelers, Week 7 (1:00 p.m. ET)

It feels strange having the opening matchup between the Ravens and Steelers this low, especially considering it’s being played at M&T Bank Stadium. It was hard not to flip-flop it with the matchup below but I digress.

Any time these two teams play each other, it’s a must-watch game. The biggest storyline will be the return of Ben Roethlisberger who, if healthy, will be facing off against Baltimore for the first time since Week 9 of the 2018 season. Oddly enough, that was also the final regular season game of Joe Flacco’s career with the Ravens.

Looking past the nostalgia there, this not only figures to be an entertaining matchup but is the Ravens’ last game before their Week 8 bye, so it marks the conclusion of the first half of their season.

8) Ravens vs. Bengals, Week 5 (1:00 p.m. ET)

In Week 5, the Ravens play host to the Bengals. All eyes will be on No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, as this will be the first time Baltimore faces off against the young signal-caller.

The Ravens a history of making life hard on rookie quarterbacks at M&T Bank Stadium and they’ll surely look to continue this dynamic against their division rival, nonetheless. To his credit, Burrow has demonstrated a level of maturity and poiose not seen in many young quarterbacks, so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles the pressure.

On draft night, Ravens DE Calais Campbell voiced his excitement about this eventual matchup on twitter, telling Burrow he “can’t wait for them to be properly acquainted.”

7) Ravens @ Browns, Week 14 (8:15 p.m. ET)

The second of two Monday Night appearances from the Ravens this season comes all the way in Week 14 against the Browns. On top of already being bitter divisional foes, the rivalry between these teams has picked up steam in recent years.

This is largely because of the Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson comparisons. Seeing these two do battle on national television in one of the final MNF games of the year will make for a great watch.

Furthermore, there figures to be playoff implications on the line for each of these teams come Week 14 - depending on how the season goes, of course.

6) Ravens @ Patriots, Week 10 (8:20 p.m. ET)

I know what you’re thinking: Why is this game ranked so highly now that Tom Brady is no longer on the Patriots?

No, Tom Brady does not play for New England anymore and yes, this does remove the same luster and shine that existed leading up to last season’s matchup between the Ravens and Patriots. With that being said, though, this game should still be highly-anticipated.

For one thing, it’s the Ravens one and only appearance on Sunday Night Football of the 2020 season. Also, it’s being played in Gillette Stadium - a place that Baltimore has developed a bit of a storied history in.

The Patriots may not be the same team without Brady, but they still have Bill Belichick and a defense that should once again be one of the better ones in the league. This will also be the Ravens’ first look at QB Jarrett Stidham, who is projected to take the reins as New England’s new starting quarterback.

5) Ravens vs. Cowboys, Week 13 (8:20 p.m. ET)

Another one of the Ravens’ five prime time matchups of the season comes in Week 13, when Baltimore plays host to “America’s Team.”

The Cowboys have maybe the best wide receiver trio, at least on paper, in the entire league in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and promising CeeDee Lamb. On the flip side, the Ravens have maybe the best group of cornerbacks and overall secondary in the NFL.

On top of this dynamic, Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson have yet to play each other in their respective careers and are two of the most talked-about quarterbacks - making this primetime matchup one of great anticipation.

4) Ravens vs. Browns, Week 1 (1:00 p.m. ET)

The opening week of any season is cause for excitement, but this year fits that bill especially well. Baltimore begins the 2020 campaign at home and hosts the Browns, who handed the Ravens a 15-point loss at M&T Bank Stadium last season.

This loss came in Week 4 and from that point on, the Ravens proceeded to run the table for the remainder of the season. However, rest assured that losing to Cleveland handily on their home turf left a bad taste.

The Ravens will be looking to make a statement in Week 1 and avenge last year’s defeat with bragging rights on the line.

3) Ravens @ Steelers, Week 12 (8:20 p.m. ET)

What more could you ask for?

Playing on Thanksgiving day is one thing, but doing so against your bitter rival in the 8:20 p.m. slot? In a raucous environment at Heinz Field?

Sign me up. This one is gonna be awesome.

2) Ravens vs. Titans, Week 11 (1:00 p.m ET)

Two words: Revenge Game.

It’s a shame that we have to wait until Week 11 for this game and it’s also disappointing that it did not get placed in a prime time spot. Nevertheless, the Titans returning to Baltimore is easily a must-circle matchup on the schedule - for obvious reasons.

Tennessee shocked the Ravens in M&T Bank Stadium in last year’s playoffs, ending what was a once-magical campaign for John Harbaugh and company.

Many perceive Baltimore’s offseason moves, specifically beefing up their defensive line, as a direct response to getting gashed by Derrick Henry on the ground. Whether or not this is actually true is unclear but ultimately doesn’t matter.

You can bet the Ravens have already circled this game on their calendar and have been thinking about avenging their disastrous postseason performance for quite some time. They’ll come into this matchup extra motivated and additionally, there could be potential playoff implications on the line.

1) Ravens vs. Chiefs, Week 3 (8:20 pm. ET)

Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes? Check.

Monday Night Football? Check.

M&T Bank Stadium? Check.

Need I say more? No . . . but I will anyways.

The inevitable Chiefs matchup was going to be high on this list regardless but the fact that it’s being played in Baltimore AND on primetime is all the more exciting. The Chiefs are easily Baltimore’s biggest obstacle in the AFC and likewise, the Ravens are seemingly Kansas City’s largest threat in their effort to return to the Super Bowl.

Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are each must-watch television on any weekend but when they’re facing off against each other, there’s no justifiable reason to leave your seat. The two reigning league MVP’s figure to put on a show in this potential preview of the AFC championship matchup.

This is not only the “Game of the Year” on the Ravens schedule but could very well be the premier contest of the entire 2020 NFL season.