The uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop the NFL from releasing the 2020 regular-season schedule on Thursday as the Ravens are set to play five prime-time games, their most since 2011.
How the schedule plays out and whether fans will be able to attend games won’t be known for quite some time, but a national audience will have no shortage of opportunities to watch reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson in action. Three of the five night games will be on the road, and four will take place in a five-game period from Week 10 through Week 14, an unusual scheduling quirk.
The prime-time schedule is headlined by a rare Monday night home game on Sept. 28 in which Kansas City and Baltimore will square off for the third straight season in a potential preview of the AFC Championship. The Ravens will also travel to Heinz Field to play Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night, the third time in the last 10 years they’ll play on Turkey Day. Baltimore will also play the following Thursday as Dallas comes to M&T Bank Stadium for the first time since 2012 on Dec. 3.
The Ravens open their 25th season in Baltimore at home against Cleveland on Sept. 13.
After alternating home and away games throughout the 2019 season, the Ravens will play back-to-back road games at Indianapolis and New England — the latter being a Sunday night game — after their Week 8 bye, but they will host consecutive games against Jacksonville and the New York Giants in Weeks 15 and 16.
Sporting the NFL’s easiest schedule by opponents’ 2019 winning percentage (.438), the Ravens will play five games against playoff teams from last season: Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia, New England, and Tennessee. They have eight games against opponents who finished below .500 a year ago: Cincinnati (twice), Cleveland (twice), Washington, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and the New York Giants.
For now, 10 of Baltimore’s 16 regular-season games are scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday starts, but most games are subject to flexible scheduling (see below), an idea that carries a greater meaning in 2020.
Sunday, Sept. 13 vs. Cleveland Browns — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Kevin Stefanski is Cleveland’s ninth head coach — since John Harbaugh was hired by the Ravens in 2008, which says all you need to know about the Browns.
Sunday, Sept. 20 at Houston Texans — 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: The Ravens haven’t won in Houston in a decade, but this will be their longest trip of the year and the Texans don’t look nearly as potent after giving away DeAndre Hopkins this offseason.
Monday, Sept. 28 vs. Kansas City Chiefs — 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Skinny: You knew this one would be under the bright lights as Baltimore finally gets a crack at Patrick Mahomes in its home stadium after road defeats in each of the last two seasons.
Sunday, Oct. 4 at Washington Redskins — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: The 2000 and 2012 Ravens both lost a game at FedEx Field before winning the Super Bowl, one of the odd factoids you’ll find considering how superior the franchise has been to its NFC neighbor.
Sunday, Oct. 11 vs. Cincinnati Bengals — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Joe Burrow is the latest Heisman Trophy quarterback to join the AFC North, but the Ravens are eyeing four straight wins over the Bengals for the second time in the Harbaugh era.
Sunday, Oct. 18 at Philadelphia Eagles — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: The second-round selection of mobile quarterback Jalen Hurts makes the Eagles offense quite interesting, but the Baltimore defense is used to seeing superior athleticism in practice every day.
Sunday, Oct. 25 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Ben Roethlisberger had long been the king of AFC North quarterbacks, but this will be his first meeting against the guy who’s assumed the throne.
Sunday, Nov. 1 BYE
Skinny: Baltimore’s scheduled break falls in Week 8 for the second straight year.
Sunday, Nov. 8 at Indianapolis Colts — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: The Colts have one of the more talented rosters in the league, but are we really buying a 38-year-old Philip Rivers being the answer there?
Sunday, Nov. 15 at New England Patriots — 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Skinny: The Ravens playing a prime-time game in Foxboro is nothing new, but Tom Brady not being on the opposing side will certainly be strange.
Sunday, Nov. 22 vs. Tennessee Titans — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: You think the Ravens and their revamped front seven will be pumped for the rematch against Derrick Henry and the Titans team that broke their hearts in January?
Thursday, Nov. 26 at Pittsburgh Steelers — 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Skinny: These AFC North rivals should give thanks meeting up for the holiday as long as Mike Tomlin stays away from the sideline.
Thursday, Dec. 3 vs. Dallas Cowboys — 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network)
Skinny: If you’re going to play two Thursday games, you might as well have them back to back as an elite Baltimore secondary going up against the talented Cowboys wide receivers should be fun.
Monday, Dec. 14 at Cleveland Browns — 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Skinny: The Browns have had a strong offseason on paper, but we’ll know whether players have bought into the new regime if they’re still in the hunt in December.
Sunday, Dec. 20 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Calais Campbell is now a Raven and the Jaguars are shaping up to be one of NFL’s worst teams in 2020, so we won’t mention what happened the last time these two teams played.
Sunday, Dec. 27 vs. New York Giants — 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
Skinny: It’s always fun seeing a Super Bowl XXXV rematch, but Daniel Jones playing on the road against this kind of defense wouldn’t seem to bode well for the Giants.
Sunday, Jan. 3 at Cincinnati Bengals — 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Skinny: Playoff expansion has eliminated one first-round bye, but I’d still be interested to see how Harbaugh would handle Week 17 if Baltimore were in the same position as last year.
Notes: Flexible scheduling can be applied for all Sunday games in Weeks 5 through 17. A flex-scheduling change would be announced at least 12 days before the game except in the final week of the season. For Week 17, the Sunday night game is announced no later than six days prior to Jan. 3.
Another wrinkle implemented in recent years is a select number of games being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring certain games to wider audiences.
Ravens’ refund policy
“If a game is cancelled and cannot be rescheduled or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, ticket buyers who purchase tickets directly from the club (i.e. season tickets or single-game tickets) have the option of a full refund of the ticket purchase price (plus associated fees) for any impacted games, or they have the ability to apply the applicable amount to a future ticket purchase.”