Baltimore Ravens Schedule: 10 Games You Don't Wanna Miss
Over the next four months, Lewis will lead the Ravens into battle 16 times. If you are a true Ravens fan, you will likely be tuning in each time.
For those Ravens fans who do not quite bleed purple and black, and need a guide to which games are must watch, look no further. I've got you covered.
Week 1: Steelers at Ravens
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Week 1 is a must watch for Ravens fans no matter who the opponent is. When the Week 1 opponent is the Steelers, the game takes on a whole new meaning.
There is bad blood between these teams, and this Week 1 clash will be special. Fans of both teams will be treated to a physical, hard-hitting game.
It's almost a shame that this game has to be played in Week 1. The teams will not be at their best as they work out the kinks from a long offseason. Preseason is nice, but teams usually need at least one real game to begin firing on all cylinders.
No matter, these teams will still provide an outstanding football game. The winner of this game gets an instant leg up in the AFC North race.
This game is a must watch not only for Ravens and Steelers fans. It is a must watch for football fans in general.
Week 3: Ravens at Rams
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Bradford is coming off an excellent rookie season. He showed very good accuracy for a rookie, completing 60% of his passes. Bradford will be looking to improve his numbers in his sophomore season and when the Ravens travel to St. Louis, he will know where to look.
Rookie cornerback Smith should expect to find himself targeted frequently this year. If Bradford and the Rams coaching staff are smart, they will test the rookie early and often.
Ravens fans are expecting Smith to be a shutdown corner. He is going to go through more than a few rough patches in his rookie season. Tune in during Week 3 to see how he handles this matchup with Bradford.
Week 4: Jets at Ravens
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These two teams opened the season last year in New Jersey and the Ravens prevailed 10-9.
The Jets have joined the Ravens in the ranks of teams on the cusp of elite status. They remain a step below their respective division playmates the Patriots and the Steelers...in the minds of many NFL pundits, anyway. Both teams certainly think of themselves as elite NFL teams.
This was a hard-hitting game last year, and it will be again this year. There might not be a lot of points scored, but the game will still be exciting even to the casual football fan. Whenever two Super Bowl contenders square off, it is a must-watch game.
Week 6: Texans at Ravens
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The Ravens have a much-needed bye week after playing the Jets. Good thing, too, because they will have their hands full with the Texans in Week 6.
This is another matchup that brings back memories from last year. The Ravens traveled to Houston where they played what was probably their most exciting regular-season game. The Texans rallied from 15 points down in the fourth quarter only to see the Ravens run an interception back for a touchdown in overtime.
Every Texans game seems to be exciting no matter who they play. Their defense is never strong, leading to frequent first-half deficits. With their high octane offense, however, the Texans are never out of the game. Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster have led more than a few comebacks in Houston. The Texans will be playing the same style of football in 2011.
They gave Ravens fans a great game to watch last year. One year later, this Week 6 matchup looks to be one of the most exciting games on the Ravens schedule. Don't sleep on the Texans, and don't miss this game.
Week 9: Ravens at Steelers
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If you're a Ravens fan and the prospect of watching your team take on the Steelers doesn't get your blood boiling and your heart racing, you should probably get yourself to a hospital right away.
There is no bigger game on the Ravens schedule each year than their second matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team that won the first matchup can solidify its hold on the division. For the loser of the first matchup, this game is a must win if they want to win the division.
Ravens fans, you probably don't need me to tell you this, but do not miss this game.
Week 10: Ravens at Seahawks
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One week after their blood letting with the Steelers, the Ravens are forced to travel to the opposite side of the country to play the Seattle Seahawks.
Coming off an emotional game against their mortal enemy, the Ravens could have a hard time getting up for this game 2,000 miles from home. On paper, the Seahawks do not appear to be a scary opponent for the Ravens, but they cannot be taken lightly.
Tune in to see how the Ravens play a week after a tough matchup with the Steelers. Qwest Field will be rocking, and the Ravens will need to regain focus quickly.
Can the Ravens can turn in top-notch efforts two weeks in a row?
Week 12: 49ers at Ravens
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This will be the first time the Harbaugh brothers face each other in the NFL. The game might not be all that great because Jim is still stuck with Alex Smith in San Francisco.
Then again, it could actually turn out to be a good game. Neither brother will want to lose their first matchup. John and Jim Harbaugh will pull out all the stops to win this game.
This Week 12 matchup could be surprisingly entertaining, if only for the human interest story behind the head coaches.
Week 14: Colts at Ravens
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The Ravens have always had trouble with Peyton and the Colts. To be fair, most teams have a hard time stopping the Colts.
This is a late-season matchup with serious playoff implications. How well Peyton Manning battles back from his surgery will determine how desperate the Colts will be at this point in the season. If Manning misses time the Colts could find themselves needing to win this game to stay in the playoff hunt.
The Ravens will also need to win this game, either to keep pace with the Steelers or to battle for a playoff position.
If these are not good enough reasons to tune in, at least older Ravens fans can watch their former home team take on their new one.
Week 15: Ravens at Chargers
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The Chargers did not make the playoffs last year, but they are still a very good team. With Phillip Rivers at quarterback, the Ravens will be facing an elite quarterback for the second week in a row.
The Ravens need to get through this game with a victory. The Chargers will not give it up easily. They have to consider last year's failure an anomaly. Prior to 2010, the Bolts had been a legitimate Super Bowl threat every year.
This stretch, where they face two elite quarterbacks in a row, will be the litmus test for the Ravens' secondary. They will have been tested by Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub earlier in the season, but not in back-to-back games.
If the Ravens pick up a victory in San Diego, it will allow them to coast to the finish, as they close the season against doormats Cleveland and Cincinnati. This is the last big regular-season test for the Ravens, and how well the secondary plays will be indicative of the Ravens' Super Bowl chances going forward.
This could be the last chance to see the Ravens play a regular-season game with some meaning. Make sure you are watching.
Week 17: Ravens at Bengals
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Poor Andy Dalton. He seemed like such a great guy at Texas Christian University.
Now he's stuck with the Bengals. Even though Dalton has won a starting job in the NFL, it almost seems it came by default. This will be the merciful end to his season.
For the Ravens, this game will hopefully be just the beginning...of the postseason, that is.
If the Ravens have already locked up the division or have a playoff spot and no chance to improve their seed, the starters will probably not play the whole game.
If that is not the case, Dalton had better watch out. The Bengals will have no real incentive to play hard here. However, if the Ravens have real incentive to win, they will go all out.
A Ravens team who needs a win going up against a Bengals team closing out the Andrew Luck sweepstakes will not be a pretty sight.
Actually, it will be a pretty sight. There is nothing better than watching your team blowout an inferior opponent.