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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Ravens schedule analysis

Posted by's James Walker

Breakdown: Coming off a surprising run to the AFC title game, the Baltimore Ravens will have an easier schedule in 2009, opening with a home game against quarterback Matt Cassel and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Ravens' strength of schedule is a meager 28th in the NFL. Three opponents in the first five weeks are teams from 2008 with double-digit losses -- Kansas City, the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. So there is a good opportunity for a fast start.

The longest stretch on the road for Baltimore is two games. The Ravens will play at Cleveland and at Cincinnati, Nov. 8 and 16, and also on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders, Dec. 27 and Jan. 3.

  John Harbaugh on 2009 season Video
  John Harbaugh lets Baltimore fans know what they can expect from the Ravens in 2009.

Complaint department: The Ravens are usually snubbed on scheduling issues, but there is not much to complain about this year. Baltimore got its bye at a good time this year -- in Week 7 -- so the Ravens came out of this relatively unscathed.

Wish granted: The Ravens will have a 1 p.m. game against the Steelers at Heinz Field on Dec. 27. Last month, Baltimore caused a stir by asking the league not to play the Steelers in Week 1 in prime time. The Ravens also will play host to the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium during a Sunday night game Nov. 29. So the Ravens got just what they wanted this year.

Ravens Regular-season Schedule (All times Eastern)

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 13, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1 p.m.
Week 2: Sunday,  Sept. 20,  at San Diego Chargers, 4:15 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 27, CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday,  Oct. 4, at New England Patriots, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 11, CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Sunday,  Oct. 18,  at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday,  Oct. 25,  BYE
Week 8: Sunday,  Nov. 1, DENVER BRONCOS, 1 p.m.
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 8, at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m.
Week 10: Monday, Nov. 16, at Cleveland Browns, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 11: Sunday,  Nov. 22, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday,  Nov. 29, PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)
Week 13: Monday,  Dec. 7, at Green Bay Packers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 14: Sunday,  Dec. 13, DETROIT LIONS, 1 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 20, CHICAGO BEARS, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday,  Dec. 27, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday,  Jan. 3, at Oakland Raiders, 4:15 p.m.