Baltimore Beatdown staff’s reactions to the 2021 Ravens schedule:
On paper, this is a brutal schedule for the Ravens.
A short week before facing their fiercest adversary, the Chiefs; a road Thursday night game against an expected contender in Miami; and a date in Cleveland for perhaps the toughest divisional game on the slate with the Browns fresh off their bye all increase the level of difficulty. The stretch run featuring five AFC North battles and contests against two NFC powerhouses will be challenging. A relatively early bye week, short weeks before hosting the Chargers and Steelers, combined with extra rest before facing the lesser regarded Vikings and Bears make this draw one of the least advantageous possible.
Fortunately, Baltimore’s front office has finally equipped Lamar Jackson with the playmakers required to overcome negative game scripts. The NFL’s schedule makers have ensured the 2021 Ravens will have to earn their fourth consecutive trip to the postseason.
- Vasilis Lericos
The schedule can be broken up into three acts.
The first six weeks is all about battling the AFC West, with two of the matchups in primetime. I’m a bit frustrated with yet another Kansas City early matchup but no matter the result, I guarantee the team will be fired up. Especially knowing their next opponent is the lowly Lions. Helps to know tiebreakers early I suppose and that’s the plus side of facing all the AFC West opponents so early in the season.
Act two is gearing up for the back half and keeping the boat steady. There’s some easy-to-win and easy-to-lose matchups, and that ends around Week 13 on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The final act is the gauntlet. A second matchup against the Browns, after their bye week. A questionable Packers team surrounding the questions of Aaron Rodgers or Blake Bortles? By now, everybody knows who is in it and not, and the Rams are likely going to be “in it,” and I dislike anytime the Ravens must face Aaron Donald and Company.
Overall thoughts, I’m thrilled to see the Ravens with five(!) primetime matchups. It’s so thrilling to know the Ravens’ offense is worth placing in the marquee slots.
- Kyle P. Barber
The NFL did the Ravens little favors in creating their 2021 schedule. On paper, the schedule appears significantly more difficult than in recent years — which is supported by the SOS ranking (second-hardest in the NFL). It will be imperative that the Ravens perform well before their bye week. Eight of their final nine opponents either made the playoffs or won double-digit games last season. Five of their final seven games are against AFC North foes. The blend of high-level competition and several primetime games should make for another captivating season.
- Frank J. Platko
The Ravens don’t face a lot of heavy hitters during the first half of their schedule outside of the Chiefs and maybe the Colts before a well timed Week 8 bye. I would’ve preferred that they played Kansas City later in the season after mid November when the playoff implications are at stake the most. I guess the upside of playing them early is that the Ravens will play them when their at the healthiest but the same goes for them.
They received the maximum allotment of primetime games as I expected including a second year of two on MNF. I’m surprised that neither of the bouts with the Steelers are currently slated to be nationally televised. Glad to see they don’t have to play the Packers in Green Bay. Playing the Browns twice in a three week span with a Pittsburgh game sandwiched in between will be a crucial stretch that could decide who wins the division before Christmas.
It should be an exciting season and I expect the Ravens to emerge from their second half gauntlet in great shape to secure a high playoff seed. Record prediction: 14-3
- Joshua Reed
Baltimore has an intriguing gauntlet ahead of them. They finish with the AFC West before the half way point. Three road games through four weeks followed by four home games with a bye between is a scheduling version of Heaven and hell. The conclusion to the season (the second half in general) could shape up to be the toughest that the Ravens have faced in years. Charm City’s finest will be able to prove their worth with a tantalizing 2021 schedule.
- Spencer Schultz
On paper, this is a tough schedule. It’s impossible to know how good each team will be, however, so everything is just speculation for now. For the third year in a row, Baltimore will face their kryptonite early in the season as they host the Chiefs in Week 2. A playoff berth will certainly have to be earned for the Ravens this year. There will be little room for error.
- Dustin Cox