In 2014 the Baltimore Ravens have a pretty easy schedule statistically when looking at the 2013 records of their opponents.
Week one: Sunday, Sept. 7 – vs. Bengals, 1p.m.
Week two: Thursday, Sept. 11 – vs. Steelers, 8:25 p.m. (CBS)
Week three: Sunday, Sept. 21 – at Browns, 1 p.m.
Week four: Sunday, Sept. 28 – vs. Panthers, 1 p.m.
Week five: Sunday, Oct. 5 – at Colts, 1 p.m.
Week six: Sunday, Oct. 12 – at Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Week seven: Sunday, Oct. 19 – vs. Falcons, 1 p.m.
Week eight: Sunday, Oct. 26 – at Bengals, 1 p.m.
Week nine: Sunday, Nov. 2 – at Steelers, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Week ten: Sunday, Nov. 9 – vs. Titans, 1 p.m.
Week eleven: BYE
Week 12: Monday, Nov. 24 – at Saints, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 13: Sunday, Nov. 30 – vs. Chargers, 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 7 – at Dolphins, 1 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 14 – vs. Jaguars, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 21 – at Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 28 – vs. Browns, 1 p.m.
When you look at the schedule for the Ravens it certainly seems tough at first glance. The Jaguars, Falcons, Buccaneers and Titans did have bad seasons in 2013. But these team have made huge changes this off season that will make them much more potent in 2014. Tampa Bay and Houston both made coaching changes but are also two of the most talented teams in the NFL.
Indianapolis Colts, Oct 5th
Arguably, the Indianapolis Colts will be the toughest opponent the Ravens will meet in 2014. Chuck Pagano is considered one of the best coaches and Andrew Luck comes with an arsenal of weapons to make the day tough for Baltimore. Even thought eh Colts lost Antoine Bethea in FA, the offense will more than make up for the loss on defense.
The Colt’s offense alone is what makes this a tough one. the Ravens do have talent at the cornerback position with Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith but the rest of the secondary is questionable at best. Matt Elam will be starting at strong safety for the first time in his NFL career, the Ravens will also have a new (and most probably young) free safety, and a replacement for Corey Graham is a must. Basically, TY Hilton will have a field day with the Ravens defense because the Colts will be in a position to challenge the Ravens defense vertically.
What will add to the difficulty of the Colts game will be the previous game where both the Panthers and Ravens will play a very physical game. Neither one will score a lot of points as both defenses will dominate. This wear and tear will just add to the challenge for the Ravens come October 5th.
Toughest section of the schedule:
Three straight divisional opponents will be the begining of the Ravens season. Starting with the Bengals at home, away at the Steelers four days later, and play host to the Browns on September 21st. The next six matches will be the telling factor of what the Baltimore Ravens are readymade of.
Four out of the next six games, the Ravens will be on the road. The road games will be against the Colts, Buccaneers, Bengals and the Steelers. The home games will be against the Panthers and Falcons. The Falcons, as well as the Buccaneers, had dismal seasons last year but in 2014 these two teams should prove to be more competitive. The hirings of Lovie Smith fans leslie Frazier for the Buccaneers automatically makes them a better team. By far the Buccaneers are one of the most talented teams in the NFL, all be it on paper, but they should be competing for their division very soon.
I feel the Ravens can come away with 10 wins this year with eight of those wins at home, the toughest being against the Falcons on October 9th. Statistically speaking, the Ravens should open up the season with four straight wins against division rivals plus the Panthers. After that the ravens will see some struggle and most likely lose 4 games to the Colts, Buccaneers, Bengals, and Steelers.
It will take ten wins for the Baltimore ravens to compete within their division and be back into playoff form.