The NFL’s first slate of preseason action takes place this week. This is a time when teams are relaxed and rookies show off their skill sets to make a roster.
However, some squads take the exhibition matchups more seriously than others.
The Baltimore Ravens will host their first exhibition game of 2021 on Saturday against the New Orleans Saints. Baltimore’s preseason record over the last five years has been nothing short of amazing.
That is because the Ravens hold a 17-game win streak in preseason matchups. When they won their 16th straight exhibition game, it was the longest streak in the NFL in at least 25 years.
Baltimore has not lost a preseason matchup since September 3rd, 2015. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was a freshman at Louisville.
The John Harbaugh era for the Ravens
Overall, the Ravens have been great in preseason matchups since head coach John Harbaugh took over in 2008.
During his tenure, the Ravens are 37-12 (.755) in exhibition games under Harbaugh. The longtime coach preaches winning and it rolls over into the regular season as well.
While fans shrug their shoulders at these matchups, the team has given supporters something to cheer for.
Why the preseason win streak is important for the Ravens
The front office of the Ravens is widely considered to be one of the best in the league. The staff has shown the ability to draft great talent, make smart moves during free agency, and know how to manage cap space.
When preseason games are played, the bulk of the workload goes to the rookies and newcomers. If the front office did not make such great moves in the draft and bring in veteran playmakers, the team’s preseason record may look a lot different.
Not only does this allow players to feel good about how they are playing, but it also gives that same talent an opportunity to make it on another team if they don’t make the roster in Baltimore.
The Ravens will look to extend the streak to 18 games when the Saints come marching in M&T Bank Stadium.