Baltimore Ravens fans will continue to find out more about this year's team when the Ravens open the preseason with a game at the New England Patriots this Thursday, Aug. 7. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. The Ravens are coming off a disappointing 2007 season that included a 5-11 record and a nine-game losing streak. In 2006, Baltimore earned a 13-3 mark and a first-round playoff bye. The dramatic dip still has observers scratching their heads.
The Patriots, meanwhile, enjoyed a spectacular 2007 campaign, going undefeated until they dropped a 17-14 decision at the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. Among the Patriots' victims in the regular season were the Ravens – New England won, 27-24, at M&T Bank Stadium in a Monday night special (Dec. 3).
The Ravens-Patriots matchup marks the debut of new Ravens' head coach John Harbaugh, who spent the last 10 seasons with the Eagles, nine as the special teams coach (1998-2006) and one tutoring the secondary (2007). One of the many NFL officials who recommended Coach Harbaugh to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
This is the first of four preseason games for the Ravens, who will host the Vikings on Aug. 16. Baltimore then travels to St. Louis to play the Rams on Aug. 23 and completes August with a Thursday night battle with the Falcons on Aug. 28 at M&T Bank Stadium.