No Calm In Ravens’ Storm of a Schedule

With the Bucs, Steelers and Texans up on the docket, it might be the year’s toughest stretch.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, November 22nd, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Mike Duffy

Heading into the 2010 campaign, many looked at the Ravens’ schedule and pinpointed a four-game stretch to start the season as the toughest of the year.

But even though road contests with the New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers and a homer against the Cleveland Browns marked a difficult opener, the Ravens (7-3) might be barreling into the worst of the storm.

Coming off a 37-13 win over the Carolina Panthers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Steelers, Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints are on the docket for Baltimore.

Tampa, Pittsburgh and the defending Super Bowl-champion Saints are all 7-3 and either first or second in their respective divisions.  The 4-6 Texans were picked by most pundits to be a playoff-caliber team considering their explosive offense.

Defeating the 1-9 Panthers in a hard-fought battle was one thing, but the next few opponents mark a hard road ahead.

“You know going into every game that it is not going to be easy no matter who you are playing,” tight end Todd Heap said after the Carolina game.  “We are happy to come out with the win. We are happy to get to seven wins.  I feel like we are still improving and getting momentum moving forward.”

This weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to M&T Bank Stadium.  The Ravens currently have a seven-game home winning streak (and have won 11 of their last 13), but the surprising Buccaneers are 4-1 on the road, riding an opportunistic pass defense and clutch quarterback Josh Freeman.

Then, it is two consecutive prime-time matchups with the Steelers (home) and Texans (away).  Including Baltimore’s two night games this year, the Ravens are 16-19 under the bright lights.

And, a red-hot New Orleans club that has won its last three games by at least 10 points comes to Charm City on Dec. 19.

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