By Mike Griffith
Every year in early April, after the big spending of the free agency period and before the draft comes, until recently, little talked about event, the release of the upcoming season’s football schedule. I and others like me are licking our chops to get a look at it and envision how it will affect our lives for those 4 months. I look for prime time games, home games, and start to figure out how to plan my entire fall and winter around it. For example, when I read that the Ravens open at home against the Chiefs on September 13th at 1 PM, I knew immediately that I would be skipping church that day to tailgate.
I want to just take a moment to break down what I see in the Ravens schedule.
NO MONDAY NIGHTT GAMES AT HOME!!!!!! - I know what the media says that “the players and coaches don’t like games that are not on Sundays at one” well, um… I AM NOT A COACH!!! I love going to a home Monday night game. In a town where we have been left behind by one team, and snubbed by the league for years after that, we feel disrespected by the league and prime time on the national stage gives us a sense of pride and excitement. Everything from being under the lights to seeing pictures of our city broadcast to a national market. I feel robbed that a team that played in the AFC championship has two Monday night games on the road and none at home.
Sunday night at home vs. the Steelers week 12. - The Ravens allegedly requested not to play the Steelers in Pittsburgh in prime time, so as the football gods would have it, we get them at home in prime time, its our only scheduled prime time appearance at home, except for any possible flex schedule games.
The Detroit Lions week 14 at home. - Now, maybe you are laughing. Who cares about the 0-16 Lions? Well, in 2005 the Ravens traveled to Detroit and had the worst collapse in Ravens history. 22 penalties (tied for most in history) and 2 players ejected in a 35-17 loss. Being someone who traveled to the game to witness this in person. As a fan that was ripped to shreds by bitter Detroit fans at Ford Field, this game is payback to excise some recent ghost of the Billick era.
Based on how everything has played out, from the Jay cutler gaggle that hurt Denver and didn’t help Chicago enough, to the Farve distraction in Minnesota (if he plays or not it will hurt that team, but that’s for another time), the re-re-building in both Cincinnati and Cleveland, the mediocrity in the NFC north, and at risk of looking like a homer, I expect the Ravens will go 12-4 this season. Below are my win-loss predictions:
1. Sun, Sep 13 Kansas City 1:00 PM Win
2. Sun, Sep 20 at San Diego 4:15 PM Loss
3. Sun, Sep 27 Cleveland 1:00 PM Win
4. Sun, Oct 4 at New England 1:00 PM Loss
5. Sun, Oct 11 Cincinnati 1:00 PM Win
6. Sun, Oct 18 at Minnesota 1:00 PM Win
8. Sun, Nov 1 Denver 1:00 PM Win
9. Sun, Nov 8 at Cincinnati 1:00 PM Win
10. Mon, Nov 16 at Cleveland 8:30 PM Win
11. Sun, Nov 22 Indianapolis 1:00 PM Loss
12. Sun, Nov 29 Pittsburgh 8:20 PM Win
13. Mon, Dec 7 at Green Bay 8:30 PM Win
14. Sun, Dec 13 Detroit 1:00 PM Win
15. Sun, Dec 20 Chicago 1:00 PM Win
16. Sun, Dec 27 at Pittsburgh 1:00 PM Loss
17. Sun, Jan 3 at Oakland 4:15 PM Win
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