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Late for Work 5/14: Which Games on Ravens' Schedule Should Be Getting More Attention?

QB Lamar Jackson

Which Games on the Ravens' Schedule Should Be Getting More Attention?

There are several matchups on the Ravens' schedule that fit the definition of a marquee matchup.

There's the fourth meeting between superstar quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes in Week 2 when the Kansas City Chiefs come to Baltimore for the home opener.

There's the first regular-season meeting between 2019 MVP Jackson and 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers when the Ravens host the Green Bay Packers in Week 15 (assuming Rodgers is still a Packer).

And there are the games against the Cleveland Browns in Weeks 12 and 14 that could determine who wins the AFC North title.

As enticing as those four games are, however, there are other compelling matchups on the Ravens' schedule that are deserving of attention.

Although the Pittsburgh Steelers are the defending AFC North champions, Baltimore's two meetings against the Pittsburgh Steelers haven't made many pundits' "games to watch" list. For just the second time in the past 15 years, neither Ravens-Steelers game is scheduled to be in prime time.

However, the regular-season finale between the archrivals in Baltimore could be noteworthy for multiple reasons.

"The regular-season finale always carries uncertainty, and two years ago, after the Ravens had run roughshod over the AFC North, the Steelers came to M&T Bank Stadium in an anticlimactic regular-season finale in which the Ravens, having already secured the No. 1 seeding in the AFC, rested many starters," Press Box’s Bo Smolka wrote. "More often, though, these teams have been in the playoff hunt to the end, so history suggests that a matchup in the final week of the season will have significant playoff implications."

The game also could be the final one for Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers' quarterback.

"That game at M&T Bank Stadium could mark the end of an era for the Steelers," Forbes’ John Perrotto wrote. "And it would be fitting as the Ravens have been the Steelers' fiercest rival throughout Roethlisberger's 17-year career."

Peter Schrager of "Good Morning Football" ranked the Week 17 meeting between the Ravens and Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium at No. 1 on his list of "Sneaky-Awesome" games this season.

When the teams met in 2019, Jackson threw five touchdown passes and rushed for 95 yards in his "Monday Night Football" debut to lead the Ravens to a 45-6 rout.

"It was a huge blowout, and the Rams have had that taste in their mouths ever since that game," Schrager said. "Now you throw in the fact that it's Week 17. … Everyone will be watching. I think both teams are going to be, if not playoff contenders, they might be sitting at the top of each conference as we get to this week."

The recent comments by Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters towards the team that traded him adds more intrigue to the game. In an interview with former teammate Aqib Talib, Peters said he felt disrespected by the Rams for trading him.

WNST’s Luke Jones said the Week 6 meeting between the Ravens and visiting Los Angeles Chargers "has sneaky potential."

"You had to be impressed with Justin Herbert as a rookie despite unprecedented challenges from the pandemic," Jones wrote.

Another matchup that could end up being more compelling than it appears at first glance is the Week 11 meeting between the Ravens and Bears in Chicago.

"Trading up for quarterback Justin Fields in the draft gives Chicago a potential star at the position it's been lacking for decades, and by Week 11, there's a good chance he's taken over for veteran Andy Dalton," The Baltimore Sun’s C.J. Doon wrote. "The Bears still have a great defense, and if Fields pops as a rookie, this could be a dangerous matchup — especially with Chicago coming off its bye week."

Pro Football Focus: As Good As Marlon Humphrey Is, He's Actually Underrated

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey is an All-Pro and one of the highest-paid players at his position, but is he also underrated?

Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson selected one player from each team who is underrated, and Humphrey was his choice for the Ravens.

"Unlike many of the players on this list, Marlon Humphrey is already regarded as a top-tier player in the league. But even that might be underselling him," Monson wrote. "No cornerback has earned a higher PFF coverage grade in single coverage since the start of the 2018 season despite much of that coverage coming via the slot, where receptions are easier to come by for offenses."

In addition to his coverage skills, Humphrey has proven to have a nose for the football. He led the league with eight forced fumbles last season and returned two fumbles for touchdowns in 2019.

Ravens' Season-Opener in Las Vegas Is a Hot Ticket

Baltimore fans looking to make the trip to Las Vegas for the Ravens' season-opener against the Raiders on "Monday Night Football" might want to start saving now.

Raiders games at Allegiant Stadium, which opened last season but did not have fans in attendance, are the most sought after tickets in the NFL, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Mick Akers wrote. Four of the top five most in-demand NFL games involve the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium, including the Ravens game.

"Of the top five, only Tom Brady's return to New England with his Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which is No. 1 with an average ticket price of $1,376, eclipses four Raiders home games," Akers wrote. "The Raiders' season opener versus the Baltimore Ravens is No. 2 at $944."

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