Jan 3, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore (80) celebrates with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) and Ravens guard Marshal Yanda (73) after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter during the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The 2015 Baltimore Ravens schedule is hot off the presses, which means that it’s time to start looking ahead. Unfortunately, the road to another playoff berth and hopefully a Super Bowl appearance isn’t going to be easy for the Ravens this year as they face a relatively brutal schedule.
The season opens with a rough stretch that sees the Ravens play five of their first seven games on the road, with two of those games taking place on the west coast (three if you count the Cardinals date). Even though you can’t always count on teams repeating their past success from year to year in the NFL, this won’t be a cakewalk by any measurement.
In fact, this might be the toughest schedule the Ravens have faced in a long time. But that isn’t to say that they can’t win enough games to secure another playoff berth. Because (spoiler alert!) I think they will. That isn’t just me being optimistic, as you’ll soon see.
So let’s take a look at each game on the 2015 Baltimore Ravens schedule and make a ridiculously early prediction for each one. Obviously things will change as we proceed through the draft and training camp, but what better time than now to start speculating?
Week One: @ Denver Broncos
Sep 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) prepares to pass in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 49-27. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Is there a more intriguing way to open the season than by facing your former offensive coordinator’s new team? There are storylines a plenty here: Owen Daniels playing his former team, Peyton Manning’s record tying seven touchdown passes against the Ravens in 2013, etc. Sadly, it’s also a tough spot that will likely start the Ravens’ season with a loss.
Prediction: Broncos 27, Ravens 21 (0-1)
Week Two: @ Oakland Raiders
Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (R) walks off the field after the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 35-31. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
On paper, you may think this will be an easy road win against a hapless Raiders team. I just don’t think it will be that simple. But even though the Raiders should be better this year under Jack Del Rio and have an improving roster, they are still one of the worst teams in the NFL, and it’s not like they are going to suddenly right the ship in one offseason.
Prediction: Ravens 31, Raiders 17 (1-1)
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