The Baltimore Ravens have released their 2015 regular season schedule to public Tuesday night. The team will need to prepare to hit the road for most of the first half of the season, as five of their first seven games are on the road, kicking off in Denver against Manning and Gary Kubiak’s run-style offense.
Here’s the entire 2015 schedule (minus pre-season games):
Week 1, Sept. 13: at Denver (4:25 p.m.)
Week 2, Sept. 20: at Oakland (4:05 p.m.)
Week 3, Sept. 27: Cincinnati (1 p.m.)
Week 4, Oct. 1: at Pittsburgh (8:25 p.m., Thursday)
Week 5, Oct. 11: Cleveland (1 p.m.)
Week 6, Oct. 18: at San Francisco (4:25 p.m.)
Week 7, Oct. 26: at Arizona (8:30 p.m., Monday)
Week 8, Nov. 1: San Diego (1 p.m.)
Week 9, Nov. 8: BYE
Week 10, Nov. 15: Jacksonville (1 p.m.)
Week 11, Nov. 22: St. Louis (1 p.m.)
Week 12, Nov. 30: at Cleveland (8:30 p.m., Monday)
Week 13, Dec. 6: at Miami (1 p.m.)
Week 14, Dec. 13: Seattle (8:30 p.m., Sunday)
Week 15, Dec. 20: Kansas City (1 p.m.)
Week 16, Dec. 27: Pittsburgh (8:30 p.m., Sunday)
Week 17, Jan. 3: at Cincinnati (1 p.m.)
Week 1 at Denver: Right off the bat, you got to deal with Peyton Manning, in Denver. The upside is Gary Kubiak is their head coach, so the Ravens might know some of the tricks to stop that run/zone scheme that was a success during his time with the team last season. The downside is Kubiak might know the weak spot of the Ravens secondary, which I’m sure Peyton will enjoy. Not an easy game to start out with.
Week 6 at 49ers: a rematch of the “Black-Out” Super Bowl, and a reunion with WR Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. Will the 49ers be as dysfunctional as everyone expects after a wild off-season or will they be contenders in the West.
Week 14 vs. Seahawks: Two winners from the last three Super Bowls face off in Baltimore, the first time since 2003. Baltimore will need to improve their receiving core through the draft if they want to stand a chance against “The Legion of Boom”, but I feel they’ll lean heavily on the running game most of that game. Russell Wilson will also prove to be problematic with his elusiveness in the pocket, but the Ravens have a strong front seven, so getting a hat on him will at least take the passing game out of it, hopefully “Beast Mode” is kept at bay.
Week 16 vs. Steelers: Last game at M&T Bank will be against the Steelers. The teams might look different, the rivalry will be as strong as ever. We have seen how the Ravens responded after the Ray Lewis/Ed Reed era, let’s see how well the Steelers respond post-Polumalu era.
I think we can all say that Joe Flacco is pretty much an above-average quarterback, and is obvious the best QB Baltimore has had since the late, great Johnny Unitas laced up his cleats in ol’ Memorial Stadium.
But, can we slate Flacco as an elite in the league yet? Gary Kubiak thinks so.
This past Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine, the former offensive coordinator for the Ravens was asked that 3-year-old question…”Is Joe Flacco an elite QB?”
He’s response: “You bet he is”
Well, if he says he is I guess it has to be true, right? I mean the guy was just his coordinator like a week ago, he spent the entire year with him, following him around, grabbing lunch, showing photos of their kids…oh and playing football I guess. And yes, Flacco’s numbers were probably the best they have ever been during his time in the league, it was clear to see this season, it was “Good Joe”/”Bad Joe” every week (Thank God!) But, does he measure up to a Manning, a Brady, a Rodgers, a Brees or even a Roethlisberger?
I think it’s WAY too early to welcome him into that prestigious club right now, but the resume’ he has to offer has him knock at the door. He has beaten most of the guys on the “elite” list when it counts the most, the playoffs. He has knocked off Manning, he’s knocked of Ben and it’s pretty much a boxing match every time he plays against Brady, in Foxborough. He’s numbers would say he’s pretty average. He has never broken the 4,000 yard mark in a regular season, has never been selected to a Pro Bowl and can still have some pretty terrible games in a season that makes you question how he got into the league (cough* Houston cough*)
So he’s got a lot of work to do but you have to think he’s knocking at the door, the run he had in the 2012 playoffs is simple LEGEN *wait for it* DARY!, and if you consider Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Andrew Luck and Tony Romo elite-like QB, you can’t tell me Flacco isn’t on deck or at least above these guys on the list. (I mean most of those guys are one-and-done type
QBs in the playoffs). Let’s see what he does this season, he does what he did in 2012 without the locker room figures of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, makes the playoffs and the Ravens win the Super Bowl on his back, you have to consider him, whether he has the numbers or not. PERIOD.