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Tier ranking every game on the Ravens’ 2023 schedule

Baltimore Ravens v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The start of the 2023 regular season is now just days away, with the Baltimore Ravens set to kickoff Week 1 at home this coming Sunday. From there, every weekend for the next several months will feature Ravens football.

In preparation for the season to come, let’s revisit every game on the team’s schedule this year and break them down into tiers by difficulty.

Tier 1: A should-be, penciled-in victory

In Tier 1, the Ravens should win these three games handedly, at least on paper. The season opener against the Texans is an inviting matchup. The Ravens have historically done very well against rookie quarterbacks at M&T Bank Stadium, where they’ll host Texans’ starter C.J. Stroud. Two weeks later, they’ll welcome another rookie starter from the AFC South in Anthony Richardson of the Colts.

Both teams are also fielding first-year head coaches, as well. The Colts will also be without their best offensive talent in Week 3 in running back Jonathan Taylor. Add all of these factors together and you should be looking at two victories. Same goes for Week 8 when the Ravens travel to Arizona. The Cardinals, another team with a first-year head coach, are projected to be one of the league’s worst teams. That’s with or without quarterback Kyler Murray, who’s recovering from a torn ACL and very well may not be playing by this game.

Tier 2: The London trip

The Week 6 matchup against the Titans in London is difficult to place alongside other games on the schedule. Playing overseas presents a unique set of circumstances and outside factors compared to traditional games.

From a football perspective, the Titans aren’t projected to be a double-digit win team this year but could ultimately be in the playoff mix again. While they may not be the more talented team in this matchup, they’re well-coached and know the Ravens well, so it’s unlikely to be an easy Ravens win.

Tier 3: The “don’t overlook” opponents at home

Tier 3 features three matchups against three NFC teams that, while the Ravens will likely be favorited over, will pose a challenge. The Lions, who the Ravens will play in Week 7, are division favorites in the NFC North and have a high-powered offensive unit. Coming off their overseas trip the week prior makes this even more of a potential challenge for the Ravens.

Two weeks later, the Ravens will host quarterback Geno Smith and the Seahawks. Another matchup where the overall talent advantage may favor Baltimore but the Seahawks are dangerous, particularly on offense with an elite receiving core.

The Rams, who the Ravens host in Week 14, are far removed from Super Bowl-caliber status and are coming off a five-win season in 2022. This could arguably be more of a Tier 1 matchup. However, if their star trio is healthy (Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald), the Rams are still a threat and could pose a “trap game” — even though the Ravens will be coming off their bye week.

Tier 3: Divisional bouts

This tier includes all of the Ravens’ divisional matchups aside from the Cincinnati Bengals, who are featured later on. While the Browns and Steelers are projected by many to finish No. 3 or No. 4 in the division, they both have playoff-caliber rosters in many areas.

AFC North games are almost always competitive battles and this year should be no different. The Ravens have to take on both Cleveland and Pittsburgh on the road in back-to-back weeks early in the season, which is no easy task. Then, they close out the year with a home finale against Pittsburgh — a game that likely will have a significant impact on division and conference standings.

Tier 4: Late season playoff implication matchups

These three games feature matchups against returning AFC playoff teams, all of which have high-end offensive units and quarterbacks. In the back half of the season, the results of each game figures to have significant playoff implications.

The Ravens will travel to Los Angeles to play the Chargers just before the bye week in a Sunday night, primetime bout. The Chargers may not have a great home-field advantage, but still have a strong roster led by Justin Herbert.

Week 15 is another primetime game against Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars. The Jaguars beat the Ravens in a late fourth-quarter comeback last season and are defending division champions. Lawrence gave the Ravens’ defense a lot of issues in that game and that was also Lamar Jackson’s final full appearance of 2021.

A prelude to the season finale against the Dolphins at home should be one of the most pivotal games of the year. The Ravens would surely like to avenge their disastrous 28-point blown lead defeat at the hands of Miami at home last season.

Tier 5: Best of the best

  • Week 2 — @ Cincinnati Bengals (away)
  • Week 11 — vs. Cincinnati Bengals (home)
  • Week 16 — @ San Francisco 49ers (away)

The two best teams the Ravens will face in 2022 are the Bengals and 49ers, the latter of which they’ll play twice by virtue of them being a divisional foe.

The first matchup against Cincinnati in Week 2, on the road, figures to be especially challenging if cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot injury) is not available to play. In Week 11, they’ll host the Bengals in a Thursday night primetime showdown. The Ravens are 1-4 in this rivalry since 2021, including last year’s playoff loss in the Wild Card round.

Week 16 features a Christmas Day night game in San Francisco. Like the Bengals, the 49ers have made it to the conference championship game in back-to-back seasons, ultimately falling just short of a Super Bowl appearance both times.

San Francisco has one of the league’s best defenses and a plethora of offensive playmakers, making this a tall late-season task for the Ravens.