The Ravens' 2014 preseason schedule has been announced.
They'll start at home against San Francisco, go to Dallas, host Washington and finish in New Orleans.
Here are five takeaways from the schedule:
It's drastically different
The Ravens' preseason schedule has been repetitious and somewhat predictable in recent years. Three of the past four preseasons they played the Falcons and Rams, but neither are slated this time around. The Ravens have never played the 49ers or Cowboys in the preseason. The NFL has talked about shortening the preseason. For now, it seems like the league is just mixing it up.
No nationally-televised gamesCould this be an indication of what's to come with the regular-season schedule? The Ravens don't have a nationally-televised preseason game for the first time since 2008. That breaks a streak of five straight years. Last year, the reigning Super Bowl champion Ravens had four national regular-season games, but don't have the same luster this year after an 8-8 season.
Long travel for preseasonIt's interesting that the San Francisco 49ers will fly across the country to play the Ravens in a preseason game. Typically, teams try to stay as close to home as possible in the preseason to limit long travel and expenses. The Harbaugh brothers are obviously a connection here, but they've never played in the preseason before. This will also be Anquan Boldin's first trip back to M&T Bank Stadium since being traded to the San Francisco last offseason.
Preseason and regular season with Saints
Usually teams don't like to play each other in both the pre and regular season. If opponents are slated for the regular season, they don't want to give each other advanced scouting. The last time the Ravens faced the same opponent in the pre and regular season was 2010 (Carolina Panthers). This year's preseason matchup against the Saints is the fourth preseason game, however, so most of the starters likely won't play at all.
Trip down memory laneThe Ravens will get a trip down memory lane in their fourth preseason game, as they will return to the site of Super Bowl XLVII. It will be interesting to see the players' emotions as they enter "The Big Easy," and whether the trip lights a fire to get back to the big game. As of now, there are 30 players left on the Ravens roster from the Super Bowl season.