Ready for some Monday Night Football to start the 2021 season?
The Ravens will open their first 17-game season in primetime on the road, on Monday, Sept. 13, against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. It will be broadcast on ESPN and ABC.
The league's broadcast partners announced their Week 1 games early Wednesday morning and the remainder of the 2021 schedule will be released Wednesday at about 7:45 p.m. Tune in to the NFL Network at 8 p.m. for a breakdown of the full league schedule.
It will mark the fourth time in Ravens team history that they will start a season on Monday Night Football. The last was in 2012 at home against the Cincinnati Bengals, a 44-13 blowout win that kicked off an eventual Super Bowl year. Baltimore also began the 2010 season with a 10-9 win against the New York Jets in newly-opened MetLife Stadium on MNF.
Baltimore's season-opener, kicking off at 8:15 p.m. ET, will be one of the most anticipated games on the Week 1 schedule. Lamar Jackson, the 2019 MVP, will lead the Ravens into their first game ever in Las Vegas, and it is expected to be the first game with fans at the Raiders' new home.
After moving from Oakland to Las Vegas last season, the Raiders played to an empty stadium throughout 2020 because of Nevada's COVID-19 gathering restrictions. While no final determination has been made on fan attendance this season, Raiders Owner Mark Davis is hopeful that stadiums will operate at full capacity this season, echoing the sentiments of Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Several faces familiar to Ravens fans are now with the Raiders, including wide receiver Willie Snead IV and edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue, who both departed Baltimore this offseason during free agency. Two other former Ravens are key weapons on the Las Vegas offense – Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver John "Smoke" Brown.
The Ravens hold a 9-3 edge over the Raiders in their all-time series, but the teams haven't squared off since 2018 when Baltimore won a 34-17 decision at M&T Bank Stadium.
Coming off their third straight playoff campaign, the Ravens hope to continue their recent overwhelming success in season openers. Baltimore has won five straight Week 1 games by a combined score of 177-26, including a 38-6 victory at home against the Cleveland Browns last season. Overall, the Ravens are 10-3 in season openers under Head Coach John Harbaugh.
The Raiders were 8-8 under Head Coach Jon Gruden last season, failing to make the playoffs after going 6-2 on the road but just 2-6 at home. They'll be looking to turn around that home trend against the Ravens.