The Baltimore Ravens have enjoyed a decent start to the 2020 season, and no matter how good they might be trending this year, there are some mammoth games remaining on their schedule that could determine the outcome of the year.
While the Ravens are poised to head into a Week 7 bye with a decent amount of momentum built up, they have some battles which will shape where they go not only in the AFC playoff picture but in the overall conversation in terms of NFL contenders.
So what games will have the most pressure for the Ravens down the stretch? Here’s a look at breaking them down.
Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 8)
The Ravens and Steelers have not yet renewed their hard-hitting rivalry in 2020, and this game figures to be very significant in playing a role in who wins the NFC North. Baltimore has come out ahead in close battles the last few years but the Steelers are looking very much improved this season. If the Ravens want to prove they’re still the class of the division, they will want to win this game in a big way in order to make a statement coming out of the bye week.
New England Patriots (Week 10)
Regardless of all the changes that have happened in New England, the team still represents a major stumbling block for any would be contender in the AFC. In order to take the next step, the Patriots have to be completely vanquished and that should be a major talking point for the Ravens going into this game. They will have to step up and leave no doubt they are one of the next teams on the rise while the Patriots’ time might be done. It’s a challenge, but it’s a good one to have for a solid Ravens team that could make statements soon after finishing the bye.
Tennessee Titans (Week 11)
Every Ravens fan remembers what happened last season in the playoffs, so they’ve likely had this date circled for a long time as a result. So far this season, the Titans have been one of the best teams in the league and are off to a hot start. This game will be a huge proving ground for a Ravens team who has to be much better than they were last season and got punched in the mouth in this encounter. This date offers a chance at revenge, which could be sweet in the short term. Baltimore badly needs this game mentally as well in order to prevent the Titans from becoming a block for the future.
Cleveland Browns (Week 14)
In the first week of 2020, the Ravens smashed the Browns. Since, the Browns have rattled off win after win and look like one of the best new stories in the NFL this season. Can that continue? This game could have a huge role not only in determining the AFC North, but also determining where teams slot in the AFC playoff picture. The Ravens will have a challenge with a late season road contest, so they better pack their defense and hope their offense can come alive as well as it did in Week 1. Regardless, this is a pretty huge game for both teams, and the Ravens would like a series sweep.
Indianapolis Colts (Week 9)
The Colts have been an intriguing team so far this season, winning thanks to solid defense and an offense which can make a few plays and get hot at times. The Ravens will need to make sure they can win this one in order to keep up and keep pace while keeping the Colts down. On the other hand, they should bet on getting a pretty good shot from Indianapolis in this contest, as they likely look at Baltimore as a team to chase in the AFC that could be vulnerable to them in the standings with a few losses. This could be a sneaky good as well as a sneaky important game for both teams.