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Ravens Brace for West Coast Trip

A six-hour flight, time-zone difference create challenges.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 at 11:27 am | Categories: Mike Duffy

The Oakland Raiders present a tough challenge for the Ravens this weekend, but what about that West Coast road trip?

The Ravens will leave Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Friday afternoon and land in San Francisco after a six-hour flight and nearly 2,500 miles.

They’ll have to spend a large chunk of Saturday stewing in a hotel room before Sunday’s 1:15 p.m. (PT) kickoff.

Playing on the other side of the country is always tough, but the Ravens have a schedule that has succeeded in the past.  Case in point: Baltimore’s 31-26 win over the San Diego Chargers earlier this year.

“A West Coast trip is definitely an issue,” said head coach John Harbaugh.  “We’ve got a West Coast way of doing things. We did it in San Diego. It worked pretty well out there, but it’s kind of a tried and true formula that people have used for years.”

As far as the Saturday schedule goes, the Ravens will hold their normal mock game on Saturday at AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants call home, and have meetings in the morning and evening.

And, the time difference is accounted for by traveling a day earlier than a team typically would for a road contest.

“The travel for the athlete, that six-hour flight, it takes a little bit out of you as an athlete,” Harbaugh noted.  “The chance to recover from that flight is important. You get somewhat accustomed to the time, but I think the good thing is for the East Coast teams going to the West Coast is it’s not an issue where you’re playing earlier than your mental clock says you should play.”

Then, you have the Raiders, who have talent that belies their 5-10 record.  Oakland has beaten four playoff contenders this year in the Steelers, Broncos, Eagles and Bengals. 

All in all, it’s not an easy out for the Ravens.

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