Predictions For The Remainder Of The Baltimore Ravens’ Schedule
Predictions For The Remainder Of The Baltimore Ravens Schedule
The Baltimore Ravens are on bye for Week 8, which is a perfect time to look ahead at the remainder of the schedule and make some predictions. The Ravens are reeling right now, as they've lost their last two games by a combined five points. Coach John Harbaugh's feet are being held to the fire for some questionable calls in both games.
"We'll do whatever it takes. We'll sign guys, we'll trade guys, we'll cut guys, we'll coach guys, we'll changes schemes," explained Harbaugh following the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Luckily for the Ravens, the remaining games on the schedule aren’t too bad. Following the bye, this is how the schedule goes, at Cleveland Browns, vs. Cincinnati Bengals, at Chicago Bears, vs. New York Jets, vs. Steelers (Thanksgiving night), vs. Minnesota Vikings, at Detroit Lions (Monday night), vs. New England Patriots (Sunday night), at Bengals.
There are definitely some tough games in there. The two Bengal games won’t be easy, the Patriots are always a challenge, and the Lions can be scary explosive in any given game. When looking at the rest of this schedule, there isn’t one single game that isn’t winnable. Don’t get me wrong, the Ravens are not going to go 9-0 in this stretch, but 6-3 or 7-2 is definitely possible. Going 6-3 would put the Ravens at 9-7, and depending on where some of the wins came from could get them a wild card spot. If the Ravens have any shot at winning the AFC North for the third year in a row, they’ll likely need to go 7-2, including a sweep of the Bengals.
Can the Ravens make a second half run? Let’s go through this schedule and find out.
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Week 9: At Cleveland Browns
Two weeks to prepare for the Jason Campbell led Browns? Thanks, football gods. The Browns would be better off with 43-year-old Jeff Garcia compared to what they have now. Think I'm joking?
Ravens 23-Browns 10
Week 10: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This is a big one, and the Ravens have to have it. The Bengals are 0-2 in Baltimore during Andy Dalton's tenure as quarterback. In 2011, the Ravens survived 31-24. In 2012, the Ravens crushed the Bengals 44-13 on the opening Monday night. I have a feeling this one will be closer to the 2011 game.
Ravens 27-Bengals 24
Week 11: At Chicago Bears
The Ravens caught a nice break, as they’ll avoid having to lay against Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs. Even with those guys I think the Bears are a little overrated. Josh McCown is not that bad from what I saw, so I’m thinking this game could have shootout potential, weather permitting of course.
Ravens 31-Bears 20
Week 12: vs. New York Jets
So much for this game being an easy win like I said at the start of the season. The Jets' defense and rushing attack keep them in every game for the most part. The only question is, will this be an on or off game for Geno Smith? I hate to say it, but I have a bad feeling about this one.
Jets 13-Ravens 10
Week 13: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Thanksgiving Night)
Let me get this straight. Last year the Ravens had to play the Steelers twice in three weeks with a trip to San Diego sandwiched in the middle. And this year, they have to play them on a short week? Well, at least it’s at home and the Steelers will be playing on the road in Cleveland the Sunday before. These teams typically splits the series every year, and I expect this year to be no different.
Ravens 20-Steelers 13
Week 14: vs. Minnesota Vikings
This is probably the biggest gimme left on the schedule. Adrian Peterson is always scary, but he wouldn’t be too scary if the Vikings are down by 14-17 points early. What’s not scary about this game is whoever will be playing quarterback for the Vikings, whether it be Josh Freeman, Christian Ponder or the corpse of Brett Favre. Even in their worst years, the Ravens always have at least one road kill at home.
Ravens 45-Vikings 17
Week 15: At Detroit Lions (Monday Night)
This game worries me, to be honest. I can smell a weird, goofy game from miles away, and this game reeks of it. Either that, or this will be one of those games where the Ravens are asleep at the wheel for the first three quarters, only to lead a crazy comeback attempt that falls just short. Someone remind me to revisit this column after this game happens please.
Lions 32-Ravens 26
Week 16: vs. New England Patriots (Sunday Night)
Can the Ravens and Patriots just be in the same division already? They play every year, they hate each other, and every game seems epic. The Patriots never scared me last year and they scare me even less this year. Tom Brady hasn’t looked right all season, and losing Vince Wilfork and Jared Mayo on defense is a huge blow. The Ravens will make it three in a row against the Pats.
Ravens 24-Patriots 17
Week 17: At Cincinnati Bengals
If you’ve been keeping track, I now have the Ravens at 9-6 and I’m thinking the Bengals will be around the same by this point. The winner of this game wins the AFC North straight up. If this is the case, like I think it will be, then let me ask this question: Who would you rather have in a big game, Flacco or Dalton? Yeah, maybe I’m being a bit of a homer with these picks, but can anyone really say this is beyond the realm of possibility? Be honest now.
Ravens 23-Bengals 17