The Baltimore Ravens, like the rest of the NFL, is waiting to see what the plan is for the 2020 season and part of that revolves around potential changes for the preseason.
Now, there’s a new plan reportedly circulating which would cut the preseason further. The league is reportedly looking at slashing the preseason down to 1 game or possibly none in the future, although at this point the focus is on 1.
The NFL’s latest proposal to players includes just one preseason game, rather than two, sources say.
Players still want no preseason games and a longer acclimation period. But a sign the sides are working and getting closer to a plan for 2020.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 20, 2020
Under the NFL’s proposal, the one preseason game would be played in what normally is the third preseason week, the week of Aug. 27. That’d provide an extra week of preparation, though not the full 21 days of strength and conditioning players want.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 20, 2020
According to Pelissero, this game would occur in what is normally Week 3 of the preseason. The players want to see no preseason games, so this could be a sign of future compromise between the sides.
Currently, the Baltimore preseason features a Week 3 contest against the Carolina Panthers. That game was rumored to be played in the league’s first proposal. If the league keeps only a single preseason game, it will be interesting to see if it is the contest originally scheduled for Week 3 or a different one based on geography.
Stay tuned to see if this change is the one the league rolls with, or if another one is proposed and accepted.
2 Preseason Games Originally Proposed by NFL
According to a report from Pro Football Talk a few weeks ago, the league proposed scrapping preseason Week 1 and Week 4 this season, leaving teams with just a pair of games to get fine tuned ahead of the 2020 regular season. This comes as a result of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
This type of schedule alteration would mean the Ravens would lose games against the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins. Baltimore would play at the Dallas Cowboys and take on the Carolina Panthers at home under this potential revised schedule.
Whether the 2020 season will be a full go is anyone’s guess at this point in time, but in scrapping a few preseason games, the league likely hopes it can keep their players, coaches and staff safe. It might also represent a dry run of sorts for the league on how to cancel games and keep their schedule fluid for the regular season.
Ravens 2020 Schedule Has Advantages
If and when the regular season does get underway, Baltimore won’t have to go far this season to play their games, and they will barely have to leave the Eastern Time Zone after doing so early on. In fact, the Ravens will only travel a measly 6,310 miles this season, which is one of the lowest totals in the league and lowest in the last few years.
The @Ravens do not leave the Eastern Time Zone after Week 2 … and that Week 2 game is in Houston. The Ravens only travel 6,310 miles this season, the fewest by any NFL team in the past four seasons.
— trey wingo (@wingoz) May 8, 2020
What could the impact of this lack of travel mean? It’s possible it could mean a more well-rested team come playoff time if the Ravens are able to get there as most expect. It could also mean less wear and tear on the body and perhaps a smaller chance of getting injured.
Either way, this could be yet another advantage for the Ravens to help them chase down their Super Bowl goals.
Ravens 2020 Schedule Strength Revealed
Most know the inherent difficulty the team will face within their own AFC North division, but how about from the schedule as a whole? Recently, CBS Sports looked at breaking down every team’s schedule from the hardest in the league to the easiest ahead of the schedule release. It shows that the Ravens should be sitting in a fairly favorable spot as it relates to next season given the teams they will play.
The site and writer Jared Dubin used over-under totals from opponents to rank the 2020 schedule. What he found when it came to Baltimore was a team that will have one of the easier schedules in the league this coming season. The Ravens have one of the lower opponent strength of schedules in the league, which leads them to have a fairly easy schedule. That’s interesting considering the Ravens finished in first place last season and carved up the league along the way.
As a whole, the schedule is tied for the 3rd easiest in football for 2020 based on opponent over-unders. The Ravens need to prove they can step up and deal with whatever comes their way, but on the whole, the team should be able to have a successful year given this early variable.
Naturally, even the worst of teams from 2019 have improved, so while the schedule might seem a bit lighter now, that’s not always how it works out when the games begin. Count on the Ravens still finding pressure to perform even though their schedule strength looks a bit easier now.
One thing is for sure, and it’s the uncertain atmosphere created by the coronavirus might level the playing field for all. Such could be the case right off the bat with changes to the preseason.
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