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Late for Work: Rich Eisen Says Every Ravens Game This Season Will Be Must-See TV

ILB Roquan Smith speaking to the team.
ILB Roquan Smith speaking to the team.

Rich Eisen Says Every Ravens Game This Season Will Be Must-See TV

It's been six weeks since the NFL schedule was released, but NFL Network's Rich Eisen is still marveling over the abundance of marquee matchups on the Ravens' slate.

"The Ravens' schedule this year is going to be must-see TV," Eisen said on "The Rich Eisen Show."

Eisen is not overstating it. Ten of the Ravens' 17 games are against teams that were in the playoffs last season, and seven of their games will be on national television.

"The Ravens' schedule is just filled with dynamite matchups, like every damn last one of them, starting with the opening night in Kansas City," Eisen said.

After facing the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, Baltimore's next four games are: versus the Las Vegas Raiders; at the Dallas Cowboys; versus the Buffalo Bills; and at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Eisen's co-host, Chris Brockman, said he could see the Ravens getting off to a 1-4 start, but Eisen disagreed.

"I doubt they will [go 1-4]," Eisen said. "They're a really good team."

Eisen believes the challenging schedule could pay off for the Ravens in the long run.

"That is just a dynamite crucible of a season. If the Ravens are going to be the No. 1 seed in the AFC again, they are going to be battle-tested," Eisen said.

Why David Ojabo Is Ravens' X Factor at Outside Linebacker

Jadeveon Clowney's departure in free agency has raised some concern about the Ravens' outside linebacker corps. One player who could ease that concern is David Ojabo.

Because of Ojabo's combination of vast potential and injury issues, he is the Ravens' X factor at the position, according to The Baltimore Banner's Paul Mancano and Jonas Shaffer.

Ojabo has played in just five games as he enters his third season and was limited to positional drills this offseason as he recovers from ACL surgery. Head Coach John Harbaugh said last month that he expects Ojabo to return at some point during training camp.

"This guy could be really anything," Mancano said on “The Banner Ravens Podcast.” "He could live up to the hype that he initially came into Baltimore with after he was drafted with a second-round pick. Underwent ACL surgery last November. So, we really have no idea what his contributions are going to be this season. … I know the Ravens' system doesn't rely too heavily on elite talents on the edges, but it sure would be nice if the Ravens could get a little bit more from David Ojabo this season than they have through the first two years of his career."

Shaffer said it's fair to wonder whether last year's ACL injury and the torn Achilles Ojabo suffered during his pro day two years ago have diminished his athleticism. However, Shaffer said Ojabo has "10-15 sack potential if he puts it all together."

Harbaugh said at the NFL Owners Meetings in March that he expects Ojabo to break out this season.

Ravens Excluded From Top 10 Offense Rankings

Despite having the No. 2 scoring offense in the league last season, the Ravens did not make’s Gennaro Filice’s top 10 offenses for 2024.

The Ravens were one of five teams Filice said just missed making the top 10.

"The reigning MVP will probably make me look stupid, but how much O-line uncertainty is too much?" Filice wrote.

With three new starters on the offensive line, Filice is right about there being uncertainty. He's also right that Lamar Jackson will probably make him look stupid.

Jackson heads into Year 2 in Todd Monken's offense with Derrick Henry joining him in the backfield. Talk about a dream team.

The Ravens also have returning playmakers such as tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely, wide receivers Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman, and (at some point) explosive running back Keaton Mitchell, who is coming off late season knee surgery.

The Ravens fared better in a ranking of the top 10 defenses on “The Mina Kimes Show.” Kimes had the Ravens at No. 7, and Jon Lenyard put them at No. 6.

Pundits Rank AFC North Head Coaches

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks ranked the head coaches in every division on the “Move the Sticks” podcast, and they agreed that the AFC North was the most difficult because Harbaugh, the Steelers' Mike Tomlin, Bengals' Zac Taylor, and Browns' Kevin Stefanski all have impressive resumes.

Both analysts had Harbaugh and Tomlin in the top two spots but disagreed on who was No. 1. Jeremiah made the case for Harbaugh.

"I give Harbaugh the edge because I think he's morphed and maybe been a little quicker to adjust and adapt, and obviously being way ahead of the curve with what they did with Lamar Jackson," Jeremiah said.

Quick Hits

  • Jackson and former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco have been nominated for ESPY awards.

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