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Ravens face NFL’s 4th-toughest schedule

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(Credits: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Ravens will have their hands full this season when they begin their AFC North title defense this fall.

The Ravens’ schedule is statistically the fourth-toughest in the NFL as their opponents had a combined record of 134-122 (.523 winning percentage) last season.

Baltimore opens the season by playing their first four games in a 17 day stretch, which includes games against the Cincinnati Bengals (Sept. 10), Philadelphia Eagles (Sept. 16), New England Patriots (Sept. 23) and Cleveland Browns (Sept. 27).

The Ravens will play eight games against playoff teams from last season, tying the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns for most in the league.

Baltimore, along with the San Francisco 49ers, are the only two teams to square off against last year’s Super Bowl teams: the champion New York Giants and the Patriots.

The Ravens will also be presented with the challenge of playing against the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, in consecutive home games in December.

The Ravens will host Peyton and the Denver Broncos on Dec. 16 and Eli and the New York Giants on Dec. 23.

The Ravens won’t see the Pittsburgh Steelers until a Sunday night Nov. 18 contest at Heinz Field. Oddly enough, the Ravens will play host to the Steelers two weeks later on Dec. 2.

The Ravens will face a tough stretch in October and November, as they just play two home games. Last season at home, the Ravens were a perfect 8-0 in the regular season compared to a mediocre 4-4 mark away from M&T Bank Stadium.

The team’s bye comes Week 8, which should offer some relief in the midst of a stretch where they will play five of seven away from the Charm City.

Under head coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens are the only team in the league to win a postseason game in each of the past four seasons. Over the past four seasons, the Ravens have made it to the AFC Championship game twice, but have failed to reach the Super Bowl.

To repeat as the AFC North champions, the NFL’s No. 3 ranked defense from a year ago will need to have another top-notch season. First-year defensive coordinator, Dean Pees, will have his hands full as he will be faced with the task of trying to game plan against 11 quarterbacks who have been named to at least one Pro Bowl team.

Let the games begin.

Here is the schedule as follows:

Week 1: Monday, Sept. 10, Cincinnati, 7:00 PM

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16, at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, New England, 8:20 PM

Week 4: Thursday, Sept. 27, Cleveland, 8:20 PM

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at Kansas City, 1:00 PM

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, Dallas, 1:00 PM

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21, at Houston, 1:00 PM

Week 8: Bye

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, at Cleveland, 1:00 PM

Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, Oakland, 1:00 PM

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, at Pittsburgh, 8:20 PM

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, at San Diego, 4:05 PM

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, Pittsburgh, 4:15 PM

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, at Washington, 1:00 PM

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, Denver, 1:00 PM

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, NY Giants, 1:00 PM

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, at Cincinnati, 1:00 PM