Beginning with the NFL’s season-opening game taking place in Denver on Sept. 5, the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens will be featured in four nationally-televised prime-time games during the 2013 regular season.
For the second time in three years, Baltimore will host a night game on Thanksgiving as the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town for a prime-time meeting. The Ravens will also travel to Detroit on Dec. 16 to take on the Lions in their only Monday night appearance of the season.
In a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will visit Baltimore for NBC’s Sunday Night Football in Week 16. It’s the second straight year the teams have met on a Sunday night.
Based on last season’s records (137-119, .535), the Ravens will deal with the NFL’s fifth-toughest schedule in 2013. They’ll play seven games – including three of their final four – against 2012 playoff teams as they attempt to advance to the postseason for a league-best sixth consecutive season.
In addition to their home opener against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 when they’re expected to unveil their Super Bowl XLVII championship banner, a highlight of the home schedule takes place the following week when former Ravens safety Ed Reed and the Houston Texans visit on Sept. 22. This year will mark the fourth straight season in which the teams have met, which doesn’t include the Ravens’ divisional-round victory over Houston two seasons ago.
Baltimore will play three straight home games in Weeks 12 through 14 before finishing off the regular-season schedule with two of three games on the road.
Thursday, Sept. 5 at Denver Broncos – 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Skinny: Baltimore is upset that it’s not hosting the league’s season-opening game as the Super Bowl champion, but NBC is licking its chops to feature Peyton Manning and a rematch of last year’s divisional-round thriller.
Sunday, Sept. 15 vs. Cleveland Browns – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: The Browns haven’t beaten Baltimore during the John Harbaugh era and the Ravens will unveil their Super Bowl banner on this date, so it’s tough to like Cleveland’s chances in this one.
Sunday, Sept. 22 vs. Houston Texans – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: It will be surreal to see future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed wearing a different jersey in Baltimore, and the reaction he receives will be even more intriguing.
Sunday, Sept. 29 at Buffalo Bills – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Buffalo hopes new head coach Doug Marrone pumps new life into the organization, but the Ravens are just happy to avoid a late-season trip to western New York.
Sunday, Oct. 6 at Miami Dolphins – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Despite having much more success than the Dolphins since the Ravens came to be in 1996, Miami holds a 3-5 record in the regular season, but Baltimore has the 2-0 edge in postseason meetings.
Sunday, Oct. 13 vs. Green Bay Packers – 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
Skinny: Aaron Rodgers will visit Baltimore for the first time as the Packers starting quarterback after serving as Brett Favre’s backup in the 48-3 drubbing the Ravens handed Green Bay in their only meeting in Baltimore back in 2005.
Sunday, Oct. 20 at Pittsburgh Steelers – 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Baltimore owns a three-game winning streak in the regular season at Heinz Field as the best rivalry in the NFL is renewed in late October.
Sunday, Oct. 27 BYE WEEK
Sunday, Nov. 3 at Cleveland Browns – 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: The Ravens travel to Cleveland immediately following their bye week for the second straight year, which doesn’t bode well for the Browns considering Baltimore is 5-0 coming off the bye week in the Harbaugh era.
Sunday, Nov. 10 vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: The Bengals snapped a four-game losing streak against Baltimore in last year’s regular-season finale, a game the Ravens treated like a preseason contest as they rested numerous starters.
*Sunday, Nov. 17 at Chicago Bears – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: A Ravens defense without Ray Lewis and a Chicago defense lacking Brian Urlacher in the middle just seems strange as these teams meet for the fifth time ever, with the series tied 2-2.
*Sunday, Nov. 24 vs. New York Jets – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: With the mess that’s existed in New York over the last two years, you wonder if Rex Ryan will even make it this deep into the 2013 season.
Thursday, Nov. 28 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Skinny: Neither team will be thrilled to play such a physical game on a a short week, but the Steelers will do it after a Sunday game in Cleveland, making their task as a Thursday night road team even more daunting.
*Sunday, Dec. 8 vs. Minnesota Vikings – 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
Skinny: The Ravens have spent plenty of time revamping their front seven and Adrian Peterson will provide as good of a test as any to see how the run defense stacks up.
Monday, Dec. 16 at Detroit Lions – 8:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Skinny: The last time the Ravens visited Detroit was in 2005 when they committed a franchise-worst 21 penalties and Terrell Suggs was ejected in the process.
*Sunday, Dec. 22 vs. New England Patriots – 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Skinny: Plenty of time will have passed by the time these rivals meet in Week 16, but New England will have a difficult time forgetting the psychological and physical beating the Ravens handed them in the second half of January’s AFC Championship.
*Sunday, Dec. 29 at Cincinnati Bengals – 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Given the projected shape of the 2013 AFC North, this season finale could very well have the division crown hanging in the balance.
*** Games marked with an asterisk are subject to the league’s flexible scheduling over the final seven weeks of the regular season.