Calais Campbell on Ravens' Backloaded Schedule: 'That's Heavyweight Battle Time'


The Ravens went on a five-game winning streak to close out the regular reason last year and reach the playoffs. They'll have to be playing their best football down the stretch this year too, and the opposition will be even more challenging.

Baltimore's backloaded schedule has a daunting post-Thanksgiving stretch that will probably make or break its 2021 season. In the seven games, six are against teams that reached the playoffs last year and five are versus AFC North foes.

  • Week 12, Nov. 28 – vs. Cleveland Browns
  • Week 13, Dec. 5 – at Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Week 14, Dec. 12 – at Cleveland Browns
  • Week 15, Dec. 19 – vs. Green Bay Packers
  • Week 16, Dec. 26 – at Cincinnati Bengals
  • Week 17, Jan. 2 – vs. Los Angeles Rams
  • Week 18, Jan. 9 – vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

When veteran defensive end Calais Campbell first heard about the three-game stretch with Browns-Steelers-Browns at the start, he smiled and started shadow boxing.

"That's heavyweight battle time. That's the championship round right there," Campbell said. "We're going to find out what we're made of real quick.

"I feel like that's going to be a grind toward the end. But that's what we're built for. We have to earn the right, find a way to get to the playoffs."

With Lamar Jackson as the starter, the Ravens have a 21-4 regular-season record in the months of November, December and January. They've typically gotten on a roll down the stretch.

The Ravens will be looking to stack wins earlier in the season when they face just two teams who made last year's playoffs in their first 10 games. That includes a stretch with a four-game game homestand (Weeks 5-9) with a bye sandwiched in between.

"Get off to a fast start, handle your business, go into the bye feeling good," Campbell said. "Catch your breath, and then go into the second half, which [is] going to be a lot of division games and must-win games."

The Ravens were one of 10 teams who received five primetime games, and that suits Baltimore just fine.

"This is what we live for. We want to play under the lights," second-year running back J.K. Dobbins said. "You want to be on the big stage in front of the whole world, playing against great opponents, proving that we belong. That's a great opportunity for everyone on the team."

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