Yes it’s the Ravens offseason. Yes it is too early to make roster selections and schedule win-loss record predictions with any sort of confidence.
Just because it’s too early to start worrying about any of this does not mean that it’s going to stop us from writing about it anyway.
Here’s my 2019 Ravens game-by-game record prediction as mandatory minicamp gets underway.
Week 1: Sunday September 8 – 1:00 pm @ Dolphins: Win
This is a prediction that is not likely to change throughout the offseason as the Dolphins have an unsettled (and terrible) quarterback situation. Couple that with a poor roster and the fact that this could be a De Facto home game for the Ravens and it all leads to a 1-0 start for the purple and black.
Week 2: Sunday September 15 – 1:00 pm vs Cardinals: Win
Kyler Murray may turn into a hell of an NFL quarterback but it’s tough for me to see him coming into Baltimore and beating the Ravens in their home opener. Rookie quarterbacks are 6-16 against Baltimore under John Harbaugh and with the defense expected to be stout once again, it could be a rough first NFL road game for the Oklahoma product.
Week 3: Sunday September 22 – 1:00 pm @ Chiefs: Loss
A lot of fans will have the game circled as potential game of the week in the NFL. The Ravens nearly tripped up the high-flying Chiefs in Arrowhead last season before ultimately falling to Patrick Mahomes and company 27-24 in overtime.
The status of Chiefs star receiver Tyreek Hill is something to watch as the offseason progresses, as he is facing potential discipline for the NFL’s code of conduct violations. For now, Hill has not been suspended and he’s the difference in this one.
Week 4: Sunday September 29 – 1:00 pm vs Browns: Win
In case you’ve been living under a rock, many folks are already saying that this Browns team is a lock to the make the playoffs and could even win the Super Bowl.
To quote NCCAF Analyst Lee Corso: “Not so fast my friend.”
The Browns “won the offseason” by adding Odell Beckham Jr, Kareem Hunt, Olivier Vernon, and Sheldon Richardson. But now expectations are higher than ever for a team with a ton of volatile players including quarterbeck Baker Mayfield and first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens. Even though the Browns are talented, the lack of experience at both quarterback and head coach could lead to struggles both on and off the field.
Give me the Ravens getting to 3-1 here with the pass rush wrecking the Browns porous offensive line.
Week 5: Sunday October 6 – 1:00 pm @ Steelers: Loss
Almost as inexplicable to me as the Browns hype train, folks are completely dismissing the Pittsburgh Steelers as a threat in 2019.
The drama is gone from the locker room (it would appear) as Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell have found new homes. JuJu Smith-Schuster will need to step up at wideout for the Steelers and they will need James Conner to remain healthy and productive for 16 games.
And as much as we hate him, Ben Roethlisberger is a first ballot Hall-Of-Famer who can still get it done at a very high level. I see Jackson struggling in this one and the Ravens will fall to 3-2.
Week 6: Sunday October 13 1:00 pm – vs Bengals: Win
The Ravens will move to 4-2, picking up an AFC North Division win over the Bengals. Cincinnati could prove to be better this season, but the Ravens should be able to run all over a Bengals defense that ranked 29th in the NFL and should struggle to stop the run again this season.
Andy Dalton and the Bengals do play well in Baltimore. But they won’t play well enough to steal a road win in this one.
Week 7: Sunday October 20 – 4:25 pm @ Seahawks: Loss
The Seahawks have a bit of a home-field advantage if you didn’t know.
Since that day covered in the story linked above, the Seahawks are 33-12 at home. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense led the NFL in rushing last season and while the Ravens defense could thwart them, I trust Wilson to be able to make more plays through the air if the need arises.
Maybe Seattle’s defense takes another turn for the worst in stopping the run and the Ravens can sneak this one. I’m not betting on it.
Week 8: Bye
Week 9 Sunday November 3 – 8:20 pm vs Patriots: Loss
This is one of the three most difficult games for me to project with the Texans and Bills representing the others.
Baltimore is 9-2 coming off of a bye in the Harbaugh era. The Patriots have struggled on the road recently including embarrassing losses to Jacksonville, Miami, Tennessee, and Detroit last season. They also could struggle offensively having lost first ballot HOF tight end Rob Gronkowski this offseason.
Week 10 Sunday November 10 – 1:00 pm @ Bengals: Loss
This one could catch me some flack but hear me out.
I expect the Week 9 game against New England to be an emotional roller coaster type game. Regardless of the outcome in this one, a letdown game wouldn’t shock me one bit. The Bengals are a division rival, which should prevent that from happening.
But they’ll be coming off their bye week and the Ravens haven’t swept the Bengals since 2011 and 2019 won’t be the year that changes.
Week 11 Sunday November 17 – 1:00 pm vs Texans: Win
Their offensive line is woeful too. They added two rookies in the 2019 NFL draft who are both projected to start in Tytus Howard and Max Scharpling but Wink Martindale and his defense lead the Ravens past the Texans in another close one at M&T Bank Stadium.
Week 12 Monday November 25 – 8:15 pm @ Rams: Loss
If you haven’t picked up on the theme here, I don’t project the Ravens to win too many road games this upcoming season. While their ball control offense should travel well, I don’t trust Jackson to protect the ball enough to beat quality opponents on the road.
Wade Phillips schemes up enough great defense to get the Rams past a game Ravens team.
Week 13 Sunday December 1 – 1:00pm vs Niners: Win
The Ravens get back to .500 with another home win. The Niners could be a much improved group this season with the return of quarterback Jimmy Garropolo and the addition of Nick Bosa to bolster their defensive front.
Garropolo is too unproven for me to pick against the Ravens in this one. They gut out a December win at home to remain in the playoff hunt.
Week 14 Sunday Dec 8 1:00 pm @ Bills: Loss
I touched on this when I put out my thoughts about the schedule release. It may remain a controversial take still, but I am not changing my mind.
This is a major swing game for the Ravens but they get the Bills at the Ralph in December with Buffalo coming off of a mini-bye after taking on the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
It’s an intangibles nightmare for the Ravens.
Week 15 Thursday December 12 – 8:25 pm vs Jets: Win
Just four days later the Ravens will wrap up their slate against the AFC East as the Jets hit Baltimore for Thursday Night Football.
This game will be closer than most think, but the Ravens defense gives them the nod as Baltimore gets to 7-7 with two weeks left in the year.
Week 16 Sunday December 22 – 1:00 pm @ Browns: Loss
The Ravens lost there last season and if the Browns do live up to the hype and maintain their locker room harmony, there’s no reason to think they can’t even up the season set with the Ravens. The Browns very well could win the division IF they keep the drama to a minimum.
It helps that the Ravens will be coming off of a mini-bye and this is another swing type game for the Ravens, but the Browns are the better team on paper and they have the better quarterback.
Week 17 Sunday December 29- 1:00 pm vs Steelers: Win
Death, taxes, and the Ravens normally splitting with the Steelers. Since 2000, the Ravens a Steelers have split their single season series 12 out of 18 years with each team registering three sweeps.
This game could have huge division implications as the AFC North could be up for grabs. I have the Ravens playing spoiler and potentially costing the Steelers the division crown and potentially a playoff berth altogether.
Final Record Prediction- 8-8
It’s the NFL and injuries are often a story, but as of right now I see the Ravens on the outside of the 2019 NFL playoffs looking in.
Image Credit: USA Today