The 2012 Baltimore Ravens schedule boasts the first Monday Night Football game of the year, a September showdown with the New England Patriots and back to back matchups with the brothers Manning in late December. Their opponents, who combined for a 134-122 record last year, are composed of six playoff teams from a season ago and many more with a realistic shot to get in this year.
Lead by the surprisingly controversial Joe Flaaco , the Ravens have rattled off four straight playoff appearances, but number five might prove illusive. Pro Bowl running back, Ray Rice , may hold out for a long term contract, the defense is aging quickly and the strength of this year's schedule is tied for the 4th hardest coming in to the 2012 season. The Ravens, poised for a Super Bowl run, will have their work cut out for them.
The start of the season is brutal as a three game gauntlet is set early. A trip to the, ever dangerous, Philadelphia Eagles was inconveniently placed in between the Monday Night home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals and the week three home match up versus the aforementioned Patriots. With two weeks off against the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs, the Ravens have two battles in a row against potential playoff teams from the Lone Star State in the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans.
Another three game stretch in late November/Early December should test the team's resilience as trips to the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers are followed up by a visit from, no other than, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Week 14 takes the Ravens up the road to Washington who, at this point and time, may have an experienced rookie stud in Robert Griffin III giving them fits all over the field.
In week 15, the Denver Broncos come to town toting a former MVP quarterback in Manning in a showdown against the veteran (okay, old) Ravens defense. If Manning retains his old form from just a few years ago and the young Bronco receivers step up, this matchup could prove tough for the Ravens. If Ravens fans aren't sick enough of hearing the Manning name, Peyton's brother Eli and the New York Giants come to town equipped with one of the most prolific passing offenses from last year. Oh yeah, and they're the defending Super Bowl Champions. Completing the Ravens' third three game gauntlet of the season is a trip to face the Andy Dalton led Cincinnati Bengals to wrap up the regular season and, possibly, the playoff race.
Whatever the outcome, the 2012 Baltimore Ravens' season should provide for both optimism and trepidation as the season progresses. Baltimore fans throughout the world are hoping that the fifth time's the charm for Flaaco and the Ravens in the playoffs.
Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Monday, Sept. 10, Cincinnati, 7:00 PM
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16, at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, New England, 8:20 PM
Week 4: Thursday, Sept. 27, Cleveland, 8:20 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at Kansas City, 1:00 PM
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, Dallas, 1:00 PM
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21, at Houston, 1:00 PM
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, at Cleveland, 1:00 PM
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, Oakland, 1:00 PM
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, at Pittsburgh, 8:20 PM
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, at San Diego, 4:05 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, Pittsburgh, 4:15 PM
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, at Washington, 1:00 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, Denver, 1:00 PM
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, NY Giants, 1:00 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, at Cincinnati, 1:00 PM
After having one of the most unimpressive careers as a defensive back in the history of college football, Adam has a true understanding for what it takes to be a defensive stalwart. His appreciation for the Baltimore Ravens' defense is only outdone by his appreciation for homemade ice cream and Maryland crab cakes.