OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have a favorable schedule after finishing in fourth place in the AFC North at 8-9.
Here's a breakdown
The Ravens have the second-easiest schedule in the NFL behind the New York Giants, according to NFL.com. Baltimore and the Giants meet in Week 6. In addition to their division schedule, Baltimore gets to play the AFC East and NFC South, which is a mixed bag with talent. The Ravens also avoid the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time in four years. As a result, Baltimore should have a good opportunity to get back into the playoffs.
The Ravens face some stern tests in late September through October with games against the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, just two of those games are on the road — Patriots and Buccaneers. The Ravens also have to play Tom Brady and Tampa Bay on a short week. It's not an ideal scenario. If the Ravens can get through that stretch successfully, they'll be in good shape for the postseason.
The Ravens have to play three AFC North road games in December and January — at Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati. That's the first time it has happened since the NFL realigned the divisions in 2002. Those games will likely decide the AFC North champion and the weather will likely be a factor. The Ravens also play the Steelers twice in four weeks so injuries could help decide those games.