Jul. 26, 2020
Ravens 2020 Schedule
In 2016 the Ravens lost in week 16 to the Steelers. In 2017 the Ravens lost to the Bengals in the final seconds of their regular season. In 2018 the Ravens lost to Philip Rivers and the Chargers in the Wild Card. Last year the Ravens lost to the Titans in the Divisional round of the playoffs. In 2020 the Ravens are trying to avoid another season-ending loss. The sentiment around the league is that the Ravens will make the AFC Championship and possibly the Super Bowl. The NFL schedule was released, and while we don't how COVID-19 will affect the season, the Ravens schedule is doable while somewhat daunting.
In the last two years, the Ravens have blown out their opponent in week one. The Browns will present a tougher matchup than the 2018 Bills or the 2019 Dolphins. This will be a showing for the Browns to see if they can be a playoff team after they disappointed in 2019.
Last time the Ravens played the Texans, the Ravens blew them out. The Texans have regressed. They traded away star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans do have other receivers that will need to be carefully guarded, but without Hopkins, the Texans are a lot less scary even on the road.
Practically everyone thought that the Ravens would play the Chiefs in the AFC Championship last year. The Chiefs are one of four teams that have beaten Lamar Jackson, and they are the only team to beat him twice. This is the first time that the game will be in Baltimore, and it could be a precursor to a postseason showdown.
The beltway rivalry isn’t much of a rivalry. Even though it is in DC Ravens fans will likely overtake the stadium. The Redskins have a new head coach in Ron Rivera and Dwayne Haskins will try to make life difficult for the Ravens defense. The Ravens have lost the last two regular-season matchups against the Redskins but the Ravens shouldn’t have trouble putting the Redskins away.
The Ravens will get their first look at the first pick in the 2020 NFL draft when the Bengals come to Baltimore. Whether or not Burrow plays, the Bengals have been a thorn in the Raven's side for a long time. The Ravens are 16-2 against rookie quarterbacks at home. If Burrow plays he will have a tough time defeating history and the Ravens.
The Ravens will travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles. The Eagles won a bad NFC East last year but they shouldn’t be overlooked. If Carson Wentz and the Eagles are healthy, the Eagles are dangerous. The Eagles also have Jalen Hurts, who they will use in trick plays, similarly to the way the Ravens used Jackson and the way the Saints use Taysom Hill.
The Ravens than host another Pennsylvania team-the Steelers. The Steelers almost the playoffs last year with their second and third-string quarterbacks and they will be better with Ben Roethlisberger back. The Steelers will present a tough matchup for the Ravens. As Gerry Sandusky said on my podcast “The names change, but the nature of the rivalry stays the same.”
The Ravens have a week eight bye. The bye comes after a very physical Steelers game, and it gives the Ravens a chance to heal. The bye will give the Ravens coaches a chance to prepare for a tough six-game stretch after the bye.
After the bye, the Ravens travel to play the Colts. The colts have veteran quarterback Philip Rivers as they are in a rebuild. The Ravens after a bye are 15-4 which is good for the best record after a bye in the NFL.
The Ravens than travel to New England to take on the Bradyless Patriots. The Patriots' success next year will depend on their quarterback play. Even without a good quarterback, the Gillette Stadium is a tough place to play and it won’t be easy for the Ravens.
The Ravens were coming off of their best regular-season all time. The Ravens are hosting the Titans in an opportunity for revenge of their playoff defeat. The Titans are retaining most of their team, and the Ravens coaches and players will need to step their game up to the win.
What has been one of the best rivalries in the NFL continues on Thanksgiving. The Ravens are traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in their second matchup. This game will be crucial to win if the Ravens want to win the AFC North for a third consecutive year.
One of the steals of the NFL draft was CeeDee Lamb going to the Cowboys. Lamb will improve a Cowboys team that had a good offense last year. The Cowboys are coming to Baltimore and are getting the prime time spotlight. This has the potential to be an offensive shootout but both defenses are capable of slowing down the opposing offense.
In their third straight prime time game, the Ravens play the Browns on Monday Night Football. This is another game where the Ravens need a win to take the North. The Browns won’t go down without a fight. It will likely be a hard-hitting, physical game that will be decided by a field goal.
The Ravens host the Jaguars in the first game of their only consecutive home game streak of the season. The Jaguars will likely be out of playoff contention and will be trying to play spoiler. There will be no limit to how bold the Jaguars will be because there is nothing for them to lose.
The Ravens host the Giants for their final regular-season home game. The Giants might be in playoff contention because of how uncompetitive the NFC East is. Saquan Barkley and Daniel Jones will be challenged by the Ravens defense and if the Ravens are motivated the will play hard and win.
The Ravens end their season in Cincinnati. Burrow will have gotten a lot of time to improve and the Bengals will be trying to play spoiler. The Ravens might be playing backups, but because of the new NFL playoff format, they might be playing their starters to take the first seed in the AFC and get a first-round playoff bye.
I am not going to predict yet where the Ravens will end up in January. I will predict that they will make the playoffs. The Ravens have an easier schedule than most of the league, but no schedule is easy. The toughest part will be the AFC North, the Steelers, Bengals, and Browns. Those three teams will hand the Ravens more losses combined than the rest of the schedule. The opportunity for redemption is on the table for the Ravens, now the Ravens have to and grab it.