We’ve known for months WHO the Ravens will play in the 2017 season now we know the WHERE and WHEN.
The where and when was presented Thursday night to an international prime-time TV audience that waited on the edge of their seats (with hand-held devices).
If the NFL can turn the turn the draft into a three-day circus, why not get a prime-time night (full of commercials) out of schedule announcing. No wonder the league owners are billionaires and the rest of us work for a living and buy what they’re selling, pure genius!
I missed the great announcement, instead watching Wade Miley tame the Cincinnati Reds. I have always preferred watching games versus hours of talk about games that will be played months down the road.
Here’s what I think I know about this; all 32 NFL teams will play 16 games with 8 at home and 8 on the road. Those teams that block and tackle well and keep their franchise quarterbacks healthy tend to make the playoffs, those that don’t tend to look for new head coaches.
With every new schedule comes instant analysis of the 17-week journey, here are some observations on the Ravens 2017 agenda.
Good Schedule News
1. A quarter of the Ravens schedule (four games) will be played against three horrible teams. So beat the Browns (twice) the Jaguars and Bears and just go 6-6 for the rest of the season and you win 10 and make the playoffs. How bad is this bunch? The Browns are 29-83 since 2010; the Jaguars are 30-82 and the Bears coming off 3-13 are 14-34 the last three years.
2. Monday Night Football comes to Baltimore for the first time in five years (Houston Nov. 27). In the Harbaugh-Flacco era, the Ravens have played an NFL-high 11 Monday Night games on the road and only one at home.
3. The Ravens bye comes in week 10 and that’s near perfect. Teams hate bye’s in weeks 4-5-6 too early. The Ravens get the bye break before the stretch run with 4 of the final 6 at home.
4. The schedule says the Ravens should get off to a good start. They have the easiest September schedule in the NFL with the Bengals, Browns and Jaguars a combined 10-37-1 (.219) in 2016. Overall the Ravens strength of schedule ranks 24th in 2016 their opponents went 117-137-2.
5. A good start and a strong finish? The Ravens close out the regular season with back-to-back home games for the first time in franchise history.
Bad Schedule News
1. The OTHER Big Ben. London’s a great travel destination but crossing the pond is no bargain for any NFL team. The good news, the Ravens’ first international game should be a win over Jacksonville.
2. Weeks three through five will be nasty! The Ravens travel to London, return home to take on the Steelers then go cross-country to play the Raiders. I think the Ravens were right to turn down the week four BYE after London, but they’ll pay for it with this three-game stretch. Two wins in the three games would be great.
3. Cold Birds on the Frozen Tundra. Traveling to Green Bay isn’t usually a winning ticket, especially in late November. The Ravens are still looking for their first win at Lambeau Field (0-3). This game comes after the Ravens BYE week.
4. The Colts will have a rest advantage in what could be a key week 16 Saturday game in Baltimore. The Ravens have a short week after playing Sunday in Cleveland while the Colts have extra rest after a Thursday night home game against Denver.