Baltimore Ravens schedule 2024: Takeaways, predictions

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BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens' 2024 schedule was released on Wednesday along with the rest of the NFL slate.

Baltimore faces one of the most challenging schedules in the NFL, who will play seven standalone games. playing a league-high 10 games against 2023 playoff teams. The Ravens play three reigning division champions in the first four weeks and finish out the season by playing against four playoff teams in their final five games.

There will be a lot of attention on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, who will play seven standalone games. Baltimore's five prime-time games include the NFL kickoff game at two-time defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City and a Monday night game at the Los Angeles Chargers, where John and Jim Harbaugh will coach against each other for the first time since Super Bowl XLVII 12 seasons ago.

This is one of the most unusual schedules in Ravens history. Baltimore plays two games on Monday night, two games on Thursday night, one on Saturday and even one on Wednesday, when the Ravens play at the Houston Texans on Christmas. Here's a fun fact: Jackson is 9-3 (.750) in games not played on Sunday, throwing 26 touchdowns and one interception.

Here's what's in store for the Ravens (all times ET):

Ravens 2024 regular-season schedule

Week 1: Sept. 5 at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. (TNF)

Week 2: Sept. 15 vs. Las Vegas, 1 p.m.

Week 3: Sept. 22 at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

Week 4: Sept. 29 vs. Buffalo, 8:20 p.m. (SNF)

Week 5: Oct. 6 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Week 6: Oct. 13 vs. Washington, 1 p.m.

Week 7: Oct. 21 at Tampa Bay, 8:15 p.m. (MNF)

Week 8: Oct. 27 at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Week 9: Nov. 3 vs. Denver, 1 p.m.

Week 10: Nov. 7 vs. Cincinnati, 8: 15 p.m. (TNF)

Week 11: Nov. 17 at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

Week 12: Nov. 25 at L.A. Chargers, 8:15 p.m. (MNF)

Week 13: Dec. 1 vs. Philadelphia, 4:25 p.m.

Week 14: BYE

Week 15: Dec. 15 at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.

Week 16: Dec. 21 vs. Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m. (Saturday)

Week 17: Dec. 25 at Houston, 4:30 p.m. (Wednesday)

Week 18: Jan. 4/5 vs. Cleveland*

*Date for Week 18 game is to be determined

Strength of schedule: .536 (2nd toughest)

Over/Under: 11.5

Biggest takeaway

The Ravens' toughest stretch comes right at the start. In its first five games, Baltimore kicks off the season at the Chiefs, faces two reigning division champions in the Cowboys and Bills and then plays at the Bengals. Cincinnati is considered Baltimore's chief threat in the AFC North with a now-healthy Joe Burrow. The Ravens' track record of solid starts -- they haven't had a losing record in September since 2015 -- will be tested.

One of the NFL's most anticipated games is when the Harbaugh brothers square off for a third time. Jim Harbaugh is looking for his first win over John when the Ravens play at the Chargers for a Monday Night Football game on Nov. 25. The Harbaughs are the only pair of brothers to coach against each other in the Super Bowl era as head coaches.

The most physically demanding part of the schedule arrives near the end. After playing the rival Steelers on Dec. 21 -- which is traditionally their hardest-hitting game of the season -- the Ravens have to travel to meet the Texans on three days rest. That's a brutal turnaround at any point in the season, but especially in Week 17. Considering its Dec. 15 game at the Giants, Baltimore will play three games in a 10-day span, including two on the road. This is the Ravens' second straight game on Christmas and their fourth overall. Only the Cowboys and Chiefs have played more on Christmas.

Revenge game

Look no further than Week 1, an AFC Championship Game rematch against Kansas City. By the time the season starts, seven months will have passed since Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs ruined the Ravens' first-ever AFC title game in Baltimore. In a 17-10 loss, Jackson was held to season-lows in completion rate (54.1%) and points scored, which became the biggest smudge on his second NFL Most Valuable Player season. The revenge angle goes beyond this past postseason. In Jackson's six-year career (including playoffs), he is 1-4 against Mahomes (.200) and 59-19 (.756) against the rest of the league. After a loss to Kansas City in 2020, Jackson described the Chiefs as "our kryptonite." Jackson and the Ravens can take a step toward changing that narrative in the season opener.

Bold prediction

The Ravens will end the regular season by going undefeated in December and January. This is ambitious considering Baltimore faces four playoff teams from 2023 in its last five games. And those four playoff teams -- the Eagles, Steelers, Texans and Browns -- all had double-digit records last season. But, there is no quarterback that finishes a regular season stronger than Jackson. His 18-3 regular-season record (.857) in December and January is the best in the NFL among quarterbacks with at least 20 starts. He has thrown 39 touchdowns and seven touchdowns in those months. So, while there are still questions about Jackson in the postseason, he certainly knows how to close out the regular season.