Which Ravens games are the most “must see” heading into the 2020 NFL season?
The Baltimore Ravens sit less than two weeks away from their 2020 season opener when the Cleveland Browns come to M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens will be searching for their fifth consecutive season opening victory as they welcome a Browns team that hasn’t won their season opener since 2004.
It is one of six divisional games on the Ravens 2020 slate which will also see them play the NFC East and AFC South this season. The remaining two contests will come against fellow first place finishers in the AFC last season, the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots.
The Ravens schedule ranks easiest in the NFL heading into 2020 with their opponents having a .438 winning percentage in 2019. We all know that year-to-year a ton of things can change in the NFL so that is to be taken with a grain of salt, but it appears the Ravens are well set up to build on a franchise best 14-2 season that ended in a playoff disappointment.
But which games are the most important? Which games have some rivalries/revenge/story lines attached to them? Which NFL stars are you looking to see first hand this year? Which games are you most excited for? Below are my 2020 Ravens schedule power rankings based on these criteria.
16) Ravens vs Jaguars-Week 15
Leading off is a non-divisional game against the woeful Jaguars, who have sold off nearly every valuable asset that they had heading into the 2020 season. The only reason this game possesses importance to the Ravens is that it occurs late in the year where they project to be jockeying for playoff position.
There is an intriguing story line to watch here with Calais Campbell taking on his former team. The 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year was traded from the Jaguars this off-season in exchange for a fifth round pick. Otherwise, there’s not much to this one.
The Jaguars have no star power. Unless you’re into Minshew Mania who is just keeping the QB chair warm for Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.
15) Ravens at Football Team- Week 4
In a match up with their Beltway “rivals”, the Ravens run into the Football Team in Washington in Week 4. It isn’t a divisional match up but it will come on the heels of what figures to be a hotly contested clash with the Chiefs. Not saying the Ravens are losing that game, but if they do, it would be important to avoid back-to-back losses.
If you consider the Football Team rivals so be it. There is proximity to the Ravens but I feel no ill will towards them from an on-field perspective. They have proven to be organizational dumpster fire off of the field. Maybe Robert Griffin III gets into this game and exacts some revenge on the Football Team? Yeah not much to see here.
The Washington Football Team has Chase Young and he’s going to be a superstar in this league. For that alone, they rank ahead of the Jaguars exciting talent to watch (which doesn’t exist) . Also, I am intrigued to see how the partnership between Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin progresses this year.
14) Ravens vs Giants- Week 16
Hopefully the Ravens have already clinched or will be clinching a playoff spot/division title in this contest. Otherwise, this game has little importance to the Ravens from a standings perspective. If the Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives in this one, something has went very wrong.
Not a ton of story lines or rivalry feel to this contest either as the Ravens and the Giants rarely meet and don’t share a ton of meaningful history outside of the 34-7 beat down the Ravens delivered in Superbowl XXXV.
The Giants do boast some exciting talent in RB Saquon Barkley and second year QB Daniel Jones. They also have a nice group of pass catching weapons but none that jump off the page with excitement.
13) Ravens at Colts- Week 9
The Ravens meet the Colts coming out of their Week eight bye looking to start the “back half” on the right foot. The Colts are favored to win the AFC South (huh?) so this game could matter from a seeding perspective down the line but I would lean no in regards to that.
As far exciting story lines are concerned, March 29,1984 was a long time ago. Not much in the way of revenge or intriguing Colts players either in this contest. They’ve got a stout offensive line Darius Leonard might be the best linebacker in the NFL. Two positions that don’t scream excitement.
It’s a clash between two potential playoff teams. Other than that, this one lacks steam.