On Thursday evening, the NFL will release its 2022 regular season schedule. This year’s edition will be the 27th in Ravens history and the 15th time the Ravens have received their schedule with Harbaugh as their head coach.

In his previous 14 years in charge, Harbaugh has compiled a .609 winning percentage, which ranks 14th all-time among all head coaches who’ve coached in at least 200 regular season games. Extrapolating that out over a 17-game season, that would put the Ravens at 10-7, which would be a disappointment but would keep them in contention for a playoff spot.

While we don’t know the date and times of these games, we do know who the Ravens will play. Because we know who they’ll play, we know what kind of games to expect. In 2021, the combined winning percentage of Baltimore’s 2022 opponents was .460. That’s not good. With a roster that can only get healthier and a turnover margin that can only go up, playing against a schedule like that breeds plenty of optimism among Ravens fans.

The Ravens have had grueling road schedules in the past, but they won’t this year. This season, Baltimore will only have to travel outside the eastern time zone once (when they visit New Orleans). Their toughest game looks to be against the Bills in Baltimore.

Here’s the full list of Baltimore’s 2022 opponents and its all-time record against those teams.

HomeAway
Cincinnati (27-25)Cincinnati (27-25)
Cleveland (34-12)Cleveland (34-12)
Pittsburgh (23-29)Pittsburgh (23-29)
Atlanta (4-2)Jacksonville (10-12)
Buffalo (6-3)New England (2-9)
Carolina (2-4)New Orleans (5-2)
Denver (7-6)New York Giants (4-2)
Miami (8-7)New York Jets (9-2)
 Tampa Bay (4-2)

On the surface, it looks like the breakdown of difficulty between home and away opponents is fairly even. MVP candidate Josh Allen makes only his second appearance in Baltimore. The first time he played at M&T Bank Stadium was his first NFL game, when the Bills lost, 47-3. The Ravens will also have to deal with Tyreek Hill again, this time when they host the Dolphins.

The toughest road game is likely to be when Baltimore travels to Tampa Bay to face Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The trips to Jacksonville and New York will also be tricky, but it’s hard to deny that playing away to the best quarterback ever is your toughest road game.

To me, the Ravens should have another solid, competitive, playoff season. Their mission to replenish the offensive line and fortify the defensive backfield—their two principal areas of concern from a season ago—figures to pay immediate dividends. Even positions like quarterback and kicker, two crucial positions, have quality backups already in place in case something unforeseen happens.

A lot of how the schedule plays out is dependent not just on how the Ravens perform, but on how their opponents perform. The NFL is a team sport, but there are plenty of players on Baltimore’s schedule who can wreck games and harm their playoff aspirations. Here are my Top 10 players the Ravens need to watch out for:

  1. Tom Brady
  2. T.J. Watt
  3. Ja’Marr Chase
  4. Josh Allen
  5. Tyreek Hill
  6. Joe Burrow
  7. Stefon Diggs
  8. Deshaun Watson
  9. Derrick Brown
  10. Christian McCaffrey

As you can see, there’s plenty of players the Ravens will be challenged by. As for a collective breakdown, here are my thoughts of on each game, as well as a predicted result.

Home

Bengals: 26-24 win

Browns: 33-17 win

Steelers: 28-21 win

Falcons: 23-17 loss

Bills: 24-23 loss

Panthers: 40-10 win

Broncos: 44-13 win

Dolphins: 27-26 win

Away

Bengals: 38-28 loss

Browns: 30-24 win

Steelers: 22-17 loss

Jaguars: 28-16 win

Patriots: 23-20 win

Saints: 24-20 loss

Giants: 17-14 win

Jets: 30-3 win

Buccaneers: 27-21 loss

2022 regular season record (predicted): 11-6 (4-2)

If things do work out this way, I think most people will be happy. Obviously, the Ravens have talent to make a push for 13-14 wins, but a deviation of 2-3 games off that isn’t unheard of. Going 4-2 in the division will give them a strong chance to compete for the AFC North title but going 11-7 won’t give them much of a chance at competing for a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

And that’s what it’s all about: getting to and winning in the playoffs. In 14 previous seasons under Harbaugh, the Ravens have made the playoffs nine times and have won 11 games. On average, the Ravens are playing for a chance in the conference championship every time they make it to the postseason. That’s pretty freaking good.

The next playoff game Harbaugh coaches in will be his 20th, something only 11 other coaches ever can say they did. Again, another major accomplishment.

Is a lot of this prediction based on potential and feel? Yes. But if you truly pay attention to the NFL, you have to admit so much of what happens isn’t guided by logic. It’s feel, it’s luck, it’s travel, it’s grit, it’s all those things. Winning a game—much less a division or in the playoffs—is so, so difficult, that all you can really ask for is a solid foundation and a fighter’s chance. The Ravens have built an excellent foundation and have more than a fighter’s chance. The problem is that many of their opponents can say the same thing.

Given the motivation of how last year ended, the wave of players that will come back from injury, the strong draft class, and the city’s collective will, I see a successful season for Baltimore in 2022.

Will their season end in Arizona and a win in Super Bowl LVII? I’m not saying that. They must execute in games first to make that case for themselves. Do they have to pieces to make that happen, though? Absolutely.

Michael Fast
Michael Fast

Born in Baltimore, Mike had long been drawn to sports of all kinds. Growing up watching Cal Ripken play ever day gave him a great example for which to attack every endeavor he undertakes.

When the Ravens came to town, though, that’s when Mike found his passion. Since that time, he’s tried to gain every bit of knowledge he could. Now as a high school coach, Mike is able to take his film study and appreciation of the game to a new level.

To engage with Mike on social media, follow him on Twitter @MikeFastNFL.

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