I want to look at all 16 games of the season and give you my guess as to who wins, the score, and just a little snippet about why. This is going to be relatively brief and I plan to do an in-depth analysis of each game the week of to give you my thoughts. This is a little tougher since we haven’t even seen some of the team play together (aka offensive line) and don’t know how they’re going to turn out. So, I could be completely wrong or maybe, I’m really right. Here’s some basic information for you (from NFL.com)
Schedule Toughness: 31st Hardest (so no excuses if we lose a lot)
Opponent’s Team Record Last Year: 117-139-0 (an under .500 record…sounds good to me)
Miles Traveled: 15,096
The predictions are after the jump.
Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday September 11 at 1:00 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 15 Steelers: 27, LOSS
Analysis: I’ve changed my mind about this one. At first I thought this was the game against the Steelers the Ravens have the best chance of winning but I don’t think so anymore. The O-line has yet to play an opposing team as a whole. They won’t be completely gelled until week 3 or 4. This means Flacco’s either got to get away from the pressure, make a good play even if that means throwing it out of bounds, or get drilled. I don’t think he’s going to be able to do that all game long. In addition, the Steelers offense is looking incredible this preseason. With that said, this is the Ravens home opener, football fans are more excited than ever with the crazy off-season, and fans feel this may be our year so maybe the home-field advantage will prove me wrong. I sure hope so.
Week 2: Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
Sunday September 18 at 1:00 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 24 Titans: 21, WIN
Analysis: Out of their first 5 games, this one will most likely be the easiest but I still don’t think it will be easy. Matt Hasselbeck isn’t a bad QB and adding him with superpower RB Chris Johnson, the Ravens D have a tall order to fill. In the end, I think they pull it out with some timely sacks by T-Sizzle and stopping the run in the 4th quarter. Ravens win a close one here.
Week 3: Baltimore Ravens at St. Louis Rams
Sunday September 25 at 4:05 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 21 Rams: 31, LOSS
Analysis: You’re probably a bit confused on this one. I have the Ravens, one of the top contenders in one of the strongest divisions losing to the weakest division in all of the league. However, there’s many factors against the Ravens in this one. Their O-line still won’t be perfect. They have to travel and play at a pretty tough place. Then, there’s Sam Bradford. I think he proves very difficult for our secondary to solve and that Flacco can’t keep up in this one offensively.
Week 4: New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday October 2 at 8:20 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 13 Jets: 10, WIN
Analysis: This game will be big and tough. Last season, these teams opened up against each other and somehow the Ravens ground out a 10-9 extremely tough, physical win. This one will be the same way but both teams will have had 3 other games to work on problems so it’ll be a sharper, better looking game. However, I think the Ravens win because it’s at home and they don’t want to lose another after the loss in St. Louis.
Week 5: BYE WEEK
Analysis: You’re probably asking what kind of analysis I could possibly have on the bye week. But I have some. At first when seeing the bye week this early, I didn’t like it. I thought it would cause some trouble later on down the road. However, after analyzing the schedule more deeply, this is probably the perfect week for a Ravens bye. They have a tough first half of the schedule. The Steelers twice (in 9 games), the Jets, the Rams, and the Texans. So, having a break after the Jets and Steelers come to town providing 2 very physical, tough, tiring games is really good. That way, they’ll be all fresh to take on Houston and the Steelers in Pittsburgh in the up-coming weeks.
Week 6: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday October 16 at 4:05 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 17 Texans: 23, LOSS
Analysis: This was a tough one. I think the Ravens will go 11-5 this season BUT if they go 12-4 again, it’ll be because they win this game. I know it’s at home but they played an ugly game against them last season. After racking up a huge lead, the defense blew it in the 4th quarter, allowing the tying TD with a minute or so left to a beautiful catch by Andre Johnson in the back of the end zone. They relied on Josh Wilson to win it with his pick six in OT. With that said, the Texans have improved over the off-season, shoring up some major holes they had on D so the offense won’t score as much thus not allowing as much room for error for the defense.
Week 7: Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars
Monday October 24 at 8:30 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 24 Jaguars: 10, WIN
Analysis: Yet again, the only Monday night game the Ravens have is away this season. I don’t even understand why this would ever be chosen for a Monday night game. It’s the freakin’ Jaguars. With that said, it’s a pretty easy win for this team especially since they just released their starting QB David Garrard and have now entered complete re-building mode.
Week 8: Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday October 30 at 1:00 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 27 Cardinals: 17, WIN
Analysis: This will be a good game. The Cardinals have Kolb and Fitzgerald. It’s also Heap’s homecoming. I’m sure if he makes a good play or at least when he comes onto the field, he’ll hear some very familiar and loving HEAAAAPPPP shouting from the crowd. Or he may here what HEAP sounds like: BOO. Ravens come out on top with a late TD of Flacco to Evans for 30 or 40 some yards.
Week 9: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday November 6 at 8:20 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 14 Steelers: 10, WIN
Analysis: Yep, this is the game the Ravens win against the Steelers. Like I said in my week one analysis, the Ravens won’t be ready to beat them at home in the first week. They will be extremely rusty and look a little sloppy. Plus, Flacco takes a few games to get in a groove. However, this Sunday night, the Ravens will go into Heinz Field and beat the Steelers in another close, defensive struggle on their home turf. This is the game that finally gets the Ravens their first home play-off game in years. Flacco also gets over his Steelers hump and the entire Ravens team gets over their Roethlisberger hump.
Week 10: Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks
Sunday November 13 at 4:05 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 17 Seahawks: 14, WIN
Analysis: A super tough game. Even though they have Travaris Jackson as their QB, they have Marshawn Lynch and the entire stadium deafening the Ravens. Not only do the Ravens have to travel far after a tough Steelers game, they have to play at Seattle, one of the hardest places to play. Somehow the Ravens squeak out a win.
Week 11: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday November 20 at 1:00 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 21 Bengals: 14, WIN
Analysis: This is the worst team in the division. Flacco won’t throw 4 picks like he did last season.
Week 12: San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
Thursday November 24 at 8:20 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 31 49ers: 17, WIN
Analysis: Joining the family for Thanksgiving will be 70,000 screaming Ravens fans (and one 49ers fan, my friend who’s going with me). The Harbaugh brothers show down will result in a Ravens win because the 49ers just aren’t talented enough. Jim will be a good coach but you can only go so far depending on the talent you have. After, we all get treated to an M&T Bank Stadium Thanksgiving Dinner. Not really. But you can have a hotdog at the game.
Week 13: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Sunday December 4 at 1:00 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 27 Browns: 21, WIN
Analysis: This game could make the Ravens go 10-6. This will be a tough game. It’s in December, the conditions in Cleveland will be cold and probably snowy, the Browns may be alright this season with Colt McCoy and it’s a tough place to play at.
Week 14: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 17 Colts: 27, LOSS
Analysis: Too bad the Ravens don’t have this game earlier on the schedule. Then they’d play the Colts Peyton Manning-less meaning they’d be playing what basically amounts to a college football talent team. By this time, Peyton will surely be back and the Ravens have a hard time beating him. However, maybe once he comes back he’s not the same Peyton and the Ravens take advantage of that. It’s a possibility.
Week 15: Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers
Sunday December 18 at 8:20 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 24 Chargers: 31, LOSS
Analysis: The Chargers will be good this season and Philip Rivers will win a playoff game. I think the travel and the crazy offense of Rivers and co. is too much for the Ravens to handle. Good Sunday night match-up though.
Week 16: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 21 Browns: 10, WIN
Analysis: The Ravens have a better time handling the Browns at home and have a bit of a blow-out.
Week 16: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday January 1 at 1:00 PM
Game Outcome- Ravens: 21 Bengals: 14, WIN
Analysis: The Ravens are lucky to be playing 2 pretty bad teams the last 2 weeks of the season. What makes it better is that these 2 teams are in the same division meaning if the Ravens are tied for the division with the Steelers, these two games are what could and probably will determine the division and home playoff game and playoff bye. Ravens win at Cincy as well especially if it’s for the division and home playoff game.
Regular Season Record: 11-5
AFC North Champions
Those are my predictions and analyses. Remember, I’ll be doing an in-depth analysis every week before the game. This is just a summary and my predictions right now. The in-depth analysis may change depending on how the season’s going as well but overall these are my thoughts before seeing a snap of the regular season. Can’t wait until Sunday. Go Ravens!