Ravens schedule is only getting harder by the week


Sep 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) prepares to throw a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders recovered the fumble. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been said about the Baltimore Ravens schedule in 2015, which was going to prove to be a challenge no matter what.  Based on strength of schedule alone, the road to another Super Bowl run has always looked to be one filled with obstacles.

Revisiting the upcoming schedule after only two weeks of action, it doesn’t appear that things are getting any easier for the Ravens.  After suffering a huge upset at the hands of the Raiders, can we really look at any particular date and call it “easy?”  Probably not.

The Ravens head home in week 3 to face an ultra hot Cincinnati Bengals team that has blown out the Raiders and handled a very good Chargers team in back to back weeks.  Their defense is playing well, the running game is clicking, and Andy Dalton is playing strong football.

The Bengals were 2-0 against the Ravens last season, including a rare 23-16 win in the normally hostile confines of M&T Bank Stadium.  If there’s a litmus test or a game that could be considered a must win in week 3, this is it.

The Ravens’ consolation prize, if they can pull out the W, is a trip to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers, who have also been red hot after blowing out the 49ers at home this week.  It’s really hard to see the Ravens’ secondary slowing down Antonio Brown, who embarrasses opposing secondaries on a weekly basis.

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A home date with the Browns should be what the doctor ordered, but even they have shown signs of life this season.  Another west coast trip awaits them after week 5, when the Ravens face the 49ers and resurgent Cardinals back to back.

The bottom line is this – the Ravens don’t appear to have any “easy” games left.  Many would argue that there isn’t even such a thing in the NFL, and they may have a point.  But the teams that originally looked like pushovers on the remaining schedule, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, aren’t looking that way after week 2.

If the Ravens are going to overcome the hole they have dug for themselves, they are going to have to do it on their own accord.  The schedule certainly isn’t going to do them any favors.

Next: Ravens grades vs Raiders, week 2

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