Ravens to face NFL’s second-toughest schedule in 2021

Ravens (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Ravens (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /

Ahead of the full 2021 NFL schedule reveal on Wednesday, the Baltimore Ravens know who their opponents will be.

Despite the losing drought that Baltimore faced in 2020, they were fortunate enough to have the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL.

However, that’s set to change this upcoming season.

The Ravens are going from having the clearest path to making the postseason to the NFL’s second-toughest schedule in 2021.

The Baltimore Ravens have a very difficult schedule on paper in 2021

Strength of schedule is determined by the 2020 record of a team’s upcoming opponents. Eight of the Ravens’ 16 games will be played against 2020 playoff teams — four of which will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns.

The only team to have a tougher schedule than Baltimore will be their AFC North rival Steelers. The Ravens and Pittsburgh are the only two teams to have a strength of schedule above 0.55.

Outside of the AFC North, Baltimore will also play the entire AFC West (34-30), NFC North (33-31), Las Vegas Raiders (8-8), Indianapolis Colts (11-5) Miami Dolphins (10-6)  and Los Angeles Rams (10-6).

The Ravens will know the official time and day for these opponents Wednesday night.

The opponents that really inflate the schedule are the Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) and the Green Bay Packers (13-3). The Ravens are 0-3 with Lamar Jackson against the Chiefs and this may be the toughest opponent Baltimore will face all season.

The schedule is not all bad news for the Ravens, however.

Baltimore will also be playing five teams under .500 from 2020 — one of whom they’ll face twice (Cincinnati Bengals). The easiest opponent of the five would likely be the Detroit Lions. The Lions finished 5-11 in 2020 and still boast a weak roster.

Their latest move of trading Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and a few draft picks made that evident.

Other teams under .500 from 2020 that the Ravens will face include the Denver Broncos (5-11), Los Angeles Chargers (7-9), and Minnesota Vikings (7-9).

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The strength of schedule for Baltimore may put a damper on their hopes of contending for a Super Bowl title. But when your quarterback is hungry for a Super Bowl appearance like Lamar Jackson, never count the Ravens out.