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John Harbaugh's Reaction to Ravens Schedule, Chiefs Opener, Christmas, And More

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

Whenever the NFL schedule drops, there are 32 teams around the league that dissect every possible benefit and disadvantage. In other words, everyone has feelings about their schedule.

When Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh joined "The Lounge" podcast for an episode that will drop next week during the first week of OTAs, he answered a few questions about his team's 2024 schedule.

On the Ravens-Chiefs season opener:

The Ravens and Chiefs will kick off the NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 5 in a rematch of the AFC Championship.

One of the most highly anticipated games of the entire year will also be the first, and Harbaugh likes the idea of being on that premier stage.

"I was happy. I think it's a great game to play in. I watch the Thursday night game. I can't wait to get home and watch it when you're playing on Sunday, you're getting ready for your game," he said. "Now we're going to be playing in that game. I like the idea of playing early. You get to it. We get to play the season three days earlier than everybody else. So we get started."

Harbaugh also said he likes to get a few extra days of rest after that season-opener. The Ravens will have 10 days between their Week 1 game in Kansas City and home opener versus the Las Vegas Raiders.

That first game against the two-time defending Super Bowl champions will be an early measuring stick.

"I love playing the Chiefs because I always love playing the Chiefs," Harbaugh said. "I mean, now I'd like to beat the Chiefs a little more often than we've done. That will be the next goal. So much respect for those guys. But we just have to make sure we're ready now. We've got something now, to know it's in our grasp. This is who we're playing in the opener and this is what we've got to get done."


614: What the Ravens-Chiefs Opener Will Show Us, Plus Schedule Predictions

Our insiders, Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing, talk about the Week 1 matchup with the Chiefs, what they expect in the Ravens' 2024 schedule, Lamar Jackson's weight, and more.

On a tough December with three games in 10 days:

The biggest groan coming from Baltimore may have been from players who saw that the Ravens are playing three games in 10 days in December against the Giants, Steelers, and Texans, respectively.

"We've got ways that we approach those short weeks. So we'll be looking at those as both short weeks," Harbaugh said.

"But the good news for me is that the teams we're playing have the exact same issues. So nobody has an advantage. That's the main thing. So when we play the Steelers, they're on a six-day week. When we play the Texans, they're on a four-day week. So they have to play the same deal that we have to play. Kudos to the league for doing that."

On another Christmas road game:

The Ravens will be the first team to ever play Christmas road games in back-to-back seasons when they travel to Houston in Week 17.

"It's crazy for Christmas. It's crazy for the families. But you know, it's like Godfather II. 'This is the [business] we've chosen,'" Harbaugh said.

"It's an honor to play on Christmas Day. It's an honor to play on Netflix in front of the whole world. It's going to be a huge, massive game. We've got to go on the road. I'd love for those guys or somebody else to be coming here on Christmas Day. I'd love it for our fans, too."

Check out the juiciest matchups to watch for during the Ravens' 2024 season.

On two road 'Monday Night Football' games:

The Ravens will play twice on "Monday Night Football" and both are on the road – Week 7 in Tampa Bay and Week 12 in Los Angeles against the Chargers.

They will mark the 21st and 22nd "Monday Night Football" games during the Harbaugh era (since 2008). Of those 22 games, 18 have been on the road – a wild statistical improbability.

"My only complaint that I have, and it's not even a complaint but just for the fans, you want to see prime-time games in Baltimore," Harbaugh said.

"We are always on the short end of those for some crazy reason, especially Monday night. And the Christmas games, for instance, those have gone on the road. Maybe it's because our guys go play so well and they know they're going to get a good game. Maybe that's why. But I do feel like our fans deserve as many of those games as we can get."


615: Reaction to Ravens' 2024 Schedule

Our insiders, Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing, give their feedback on the Ravens' 2024 schedule and hold their annual Travel Draft.

On playing his brother just before Thanksgiving:

The Harbaugh brothers, John and Jim, won't play on a holiday as many expected, but will Thanksgiving bragging rights still be at stake?

They'll face off three days before their families sit down to chow on some turkey.

"That will definitely be the storyline, I'm sure," John said. "But it's such an emotional thing. It runs so much deeper than that in real life, to be honest. It's so meaningful. We both root for each other. We both have each other's back all the time and yet we're competing against each other. And yeah, there is a pride part of it. You do want to win, but not just for you, but for your guys, for the organization, for the standings. There's so much at stake.

"These things live on. These are real life moments that, there's a winner and a loser in some of these games like that, and you kind of never forget these things. It's not so much who's going to have bragging rights. That kind of understates how it really works."

After the first wave of free agency, here are key moves made by teams on the Ravens' 2024 schedule.

Clifton Brown Staff Writer

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