After the release of the NFL schedule last week and the instant reactions cooled off, the time to analyze the upcoming season has arrived. What a better place to begin than with the NFL’s coveted position group: quarterback.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders: Carr boasts a 2-1 record against the Ravens, and managed to throw eight touchdown passes to only one interception in their three meetings. But Carr’s last win against Baltimore occurred in 2016 and the Ravens defense will look to settle the score in the Week 1 opener on the road.
Patrick Mahomes II, Kansas City Chiefs: For the fourth-straight year, the Ravens and Chiefs will square off. This one, on primetime. Baltimore is 0-3 against Mahomes. He’s eviscerated the Ravens, throwing for 1,136 yards, nine touchdowns and only interception. Just maybe, the Ravens can avoid defeat this season.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions: The Matthew Stafford era has ended in Detroit, as the Lions’ facilitated a trade with the Los Angeles Rams this offseason, shipping him somewhere he has a winning opportunity with as they begin their rebuild. The trade included Goff coming to Detroit, to lead the Dan Campbell Lions. Baltimore faced Goff only once, and managed to shut him down, allowing no touchdown passes and intercepting him twice.
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos: The young Lock has yet to face the highly-feared Ravens defense. First meetings between young quarterbacks and the Ravens unique fronts and blitz formations courtesy of Don Martindale don’t often go well, and Lock will hope to navigate through with the help of the Broncos’ talented wide receiver unit.
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts: A quarterback change for the Colts plants Wentz in Indy after the retirement of Philip Rivers this offseason. Wentz is 0-2 against the Ravens in his career. This will be a fun matchup early in the season to see where the pecking order of the AFC stands.
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers: Herbert won Offensive Rookie of the Year last season and looks to be everything a franchise could want in a young quarterback. But as previously stated, young quarterbacks do not typically enjoy their first contest against Baltimore and coming into M&T Bank stadium off a long flight from LA to the East Coast is a recipe for a rough game for the starter.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: It isn’t until Week 7 the Ravens see a divisional opponent, and Burrow is the first draw. Against Baltimore, Burrow was not good. He posted a 66.4 QB rating and was sacked seven times for 48 yards. After Burrow suffered a torn ACL last season, ending his rookie campaign, the Bengals opted to not draft Penei Sewell to block for Burrow, instead taking WR Ja’Marr Chase. We’ll see if that was the right choice as Baltimore restocked their pass rush unit while the Bengals did little to bolster their blocking.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings: After the Ravens’ bye week, Cousins comes to M&T Bank Stadium. Cousins is undefeated against the Ravens, going 2-0 in his NFL career. However, both games he won were during his tenure in Washington. The last matchup was in 2016, in a close 16-10 victory for Washington.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins: This will be Tagovailoa’s second NFL season and though his rookie campaign went through the typical ups and downs, he’ll likely experience a down game here with Miami’s propensity to suffer overwhelming defeats against the Ravens in primetime.
Justin Fields/Andy Dalton(?), Chicago Bears: I’ve become a broken record here but Fields it’s true. Young quarterbacks do not enjoy their first game against the Ravens. Martindale’s defense is built to confuse quarterbacks and if Fields is the starter, good luck. If it’s Dalton starting here, expect some voodoo as Dalton managed to go 8-9 against the Ravens in his career. Honestly, maybe a one-week switch at quarterback would be good for the Bears here. Or, just get Fields’ first meeting with the Ravens out of the way now.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns: It’s not until Week 12 the Ravens and Browns square off. Last years’ second meeting between the two produced the game of the year, where defenses couldn’t contain either quarterback. This will be Baker’s second year in the Kevin Stefanski’s system, and with arguably the deepest roster in the division, look for Mayfield to try unseat Baltimore for the division.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: Big Ben looks to run it back one final time with the Steelers in 2021 and his first meeting with the Ravens occurs in Week 13 at Heinz Field. If Roethlisberger lasts this long, he’ll be in for quite a game. The Ravens’ restocked at pass rush and took one of the better parts of the Steelers’ offensive line. These games are always physical and gritty, and I expect no less in 2021.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: Unless Rodgers retires, it appears the Ravens will play him at some point this season. He’s been linked to the Packers, Broncos and Raiders, all teams the Ravens will compete against in 2021. Rodgers hasn’t faired too well against the Baltimore defense, throwing for only 643 yards in three matchups. His touchdown-interception ratio is 1-1, with four of each in their meet-ups, too.
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams: The Ravens won’t avoid a matchup with Stafford, though he’s no longer a Lion, as their 17th opponent this year are the LA Rams. Stafford has a new team and by the time they meet up, he’ll be fully indoctrinated into the McVay system. Stafford’s one hell of a gunslinger and I expect no less late in the season.