The Baltimore Ravens 2021 regular season schedule was released on Wednesday. On Friday, their slate of exhibition games in the preseason was finalized and released, also.
Since the regular season was extended by a week, the preseason was consequently shortened by a week. As a result, every team in the league will only play three preseason games — with the exceptions being the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, who are playing in the Hall of Fame game.
AFC teams received an extra regular season home game so they only get one in August. The Ravens will host the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 then head down I-95 in back-to-back weeks. They play the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 and close out the preseason with the Washington Football Team in the ‘Battle of the Beltway’.
The Ravens have been the most dominant team in the preseason over the last five years. They won 17 straight games from 2016-2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic put their impressive streak on pause last year after all of the 2020 exhibition games were canceled.
Their defensive depth is a big reason why they’ve been so tough to beat in August and that likely won’t change this year with several bubble players on that side of the ball expected to compete for a handful of roster spots.
The most exciting battles to watch for on offense will be for the starting left guard spot and the final one or two wide receiver spots behind the five locks. I also can’t wait to see Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley duke it out to be the primary backup quarterback to Lamar Jackson. The Ravens might not want to or be able to carry three quarterbacks this year and could try to stash the loser of the competition on the practice squad.
Last year, the Ravens’ longstanding streak of a UDFA making the 53-man roster came to an end — in large part because they weren’t able to showcase their talents in the preseason. Hopefully, the streak will get reignited this year now that they will have those opportunities, even if it isn’t as many as in years past.