The Ravens' 2023 schedule is out!
|Week 1||Sept. 10||vs. Houston Texans||1 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 2||Sept. 17||@ Cincinnati Bengals||1 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 3||Sept. 24||vs. Indianapolis Colts||1 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 4||Oct. 1||@ Cleveland Browns||1 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 5||Oct. 8||@ Pittsburgh Steelers||1 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 6||Oct. 15||vs. Tennessee Titans (London)||9:30 a.m. (NFLN)|
|Week 7||Oct. 22||vs. Detroit Lions||1 p.m. (FOX)|
|Week 8||Oct. 29||@ Arizona Cardinals||4:25 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 9||Nov. 5||vs. Seattle Seahawks||1 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 10||Nov. 12||vs. Cleveland Browns||1 p.m. (FOX)|
|Week 11||Nov. 16 (Thu.)||vs. Cincinnati Bengals||8:15 p.m. (Prime Video)|
|Week 12||Nov. 26||@ Los Angeles Chargers||8:20 p.m. (NBC)|
|Week 14||Dec. 10||vs. Los Angeles Rams||1 p.m. (FOX)|
|Week 15||Dec. 17||@ Jacksonville Jaguars||8:20 p.m. (NBC)|
|Week 16||Dec. 25||@ San Francisco 49ers||8:15 p.m. (ABC)|
|Week 17||Dec. 31||vs. Miami Dolphins||1 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 18||TBD||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||TBD|
|Preseason 1||TBD||vs. Philadelphia Eagles||TBD|
|Preseason 2||Aug. 21||@ Washington Commanders||8 p.m. (ESPN)|
|Preseason 3||TBD||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||TBD|
Here are the biggest takeaways:
Christmas Day game against the 49ers jumps out.
The Ravens will be playing on Christmas Day on "Monday Night Football" in San Francisco. While being on the national stage is always fun, and that should be one of the best games in the NFL this season (a potential Super Bowl LVIII preview?), it means the Ravens will be spending the holiday away from their families. No Christmas Eve. No Christmas morning. No Christmas dinner.
The last time the Ravens played on Christmas Day was in 2016, when Antonio Brown stretched over the goal line with nine seconds left to eliminate the Ravens from playoff contention. Baltimore will be hoping for a merrier Christmas this year.
To make matters worse, the Ravens will be coming back from the West Coast in the middle of the night and have a short turnaround before what could be a critical AFC showdown with the Miami Dolphins in Week 17. That game could have major playoff implications.
A heavy dose of early AFC North road games.
Three of the Ravens' first five games will be against their AFC North opponents, and all of them will be on the road (at 1 p.m.). That means Baltimore needs to be ready to roll at the start of the year, as a hot start would put the Ravens in fantastic position while a slow start would mean the opposite.
Head Coach John Harbaugh has a long track record of having his team ready for September action, and Lamar Jackson has started hot each of the past several years. Over the past four years, the Ravens have a 14-6 record in the first five weeks. Knocking the AFC North road trips out early may be a good thing for Baltimore.
The Ravens only have one division game after Week 11, the regular-season finale at home against the Steelers. Their place in the AFC North pecking order will be well-known by the start of December.
Four primetime games, plus London, shows respect to Ravens' potential.
Lamar Jackson is back on a contract extension and the Ravens are once again must-see TV. The Ravens have four primetime games, including a stretch of four in five games (from Weeks 11-16, with a bye in between).
Baltimore hosts one of those games, a Thursday Night Football contest against the division rival Bengals. Then it's road primetime games against the Chargers (Sunday Night Football), Jaguars (Sunday Night Football), and 49ers (Monday Night Football).
With Jackson and an upgraded wide receiver corps featuring superstar Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman and first-round pick Zay Flowers, not to mention star tight end Mark Andrews, the Ravens have an offense with plenty of intriguing firepower that will draw excellent ratings. Pairing that offense with what's expected to be one of the league's top defenses, and Baltimore is again a championship contender that the nation will want to watch.
Latest bye week since 2001, no break after London.
Baltimore won't get its bye until Week 13, which is the latest for the Ravens since 2001. The NFL schedules all bye weeks between Weeks 6-14, so it's the second-latest date possible.
The Ravens will be ready for the rest after going to Los Angeles the week before. They do get a mini-bye after Thursday Night Football in Week 11. They'll have 10 days between facing the Bengals and Chargers.
Baltimore also doesn't get the benefit of a bye after the London trip, which is something the NFL often tries to accommodate teams with after such a long journey. That would have meant an early bye since the Ravens go across the pond in Week 6.
It's all going to add more stress on bodies considering the spike in travel. Last year, the Ravens traversed the second-fewest miles (8,244) in the NFL. This year, they have the fifth-most (25,442).
Playoff opponents down the stretch.
The Ravens have a three-game homestand in November versus the Seahawks, Browns and Bengals. The end of that series will kick off a grueling stretch run.
Over their final seven games, the Ravens will face five teams that went to last year's playoffs (Bengals, Chargers, Jaguars, 49ers, Dolphins). The two outstanding games are against the Rams, who won the Super Bowl two years ago, and the rival Steelers. Baltimore has three straight games against 2022 playoff teams (Jaguars, 49ers, Dolphins) from Weeks 15-17.
It's somewhat reminiscent of the Ravens' stretch run in 2021, except with fewer AFC North opponents. The Ravens haven't had Jackson for their final push the past two years. They'll need him this go around to make a playoff push.
Rookie quarterbacks will be thrown into the Ravens' fire.
The Ravens will kick off the season at home against Houston Texans. That means rookie quarterback and No. 2-overall pick C.J. Stroud will likely make his NFL debut at M&T Bank Stadium. That's a tough assignment, especially against this year's Ravens defense.
It remains to be seen whether Anthony Richardson, the No. 4-overall pick, will be the Colts' immediate starter, but if so, he would come to Baltimore in Week 3. Ryan Tannehill is the Titans' veteran starter, but could second-round rookie Will Levis replace him by the time the Ravens head to London in Week 6?
Generally speaking, it's better to get rookie quarterbacks early, when they haven't had much time to get their feet wet and adjust. The Ravens have feasted on rookie quarterbacks over their franchise history, especially at M&T Bank Stadium. They'll look to do some more chowing.