Not Primed?

Despite '08, 10 Others Get More National Tv Slots

Ravens 2009 Schedule

April 15, 2009|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Even after last season's run to the AFC championship game, the Ravens weren't given as much respect as anticipated by NFL schedule-makers.

Nearly a third of the league received more prime-time games than the Ravens when the NFL announced its 2009 schedule Tuesday. The Ravens, who return 19 of 22 starters from an 11-5 team, are scheduled for three national television games.

Ten teams (the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles) will make at least four appearances in prime time. The Bears, Cowboys and Patriots didn't make the playoffs last season.

There is a chance the Ravens could earn more national television games because the final seven Sunday night games are subject to flexible scheduling.

The Ravens' marquee game is a Nov. 29 Sunday night showdown against the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers, the team's first home prime-time game against the Steelers since 2003. The Ravens' other national TV games are on the road - Monday nights at Cleveland (Nov. 16) and Green Bay (Dec. 7).

"We like the schedule, especially for our fans," Ravens president Dick Cass said. "Seven of our eight regular-season home games are scheduled for 1 p.m. And we know the fans will be excited to have the Steelers come here for a prime-time game."

The Ravens' regular season begins Sept. 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs - the first time the Ravens have started consecutive seasons at home since moving to M&T Bank Stadium in 1998.

"We knew who we were going to play, and the schedule now gives us dates we can target," coach John Harbaugh said. "Our focus since the end of last season is to keep finding ways to get better. That's what we're doing now. We'll be ready when the regular season starts against the Chiefs, and we'll keep working so that we'll be even better when December comes."

HOMES GAMES IN YELLOW

WEEK ........................................................... JAMISON HENSLEY'S COMMENTS

1. -- CHIEFS -- SUNDAY SEPT 13, 1 P.M. (HOME) --Surprisingly, the Ravens have not beaten the Chiefs in Baltimore (0-3 all time).

2. CHARGERS -- SUNDAY SEPT. 20 4:15 P.M. -- The Ravens can't let Antonio Gates run free like he did in 2007.

3. BROWNS -- SUNDAY SEPT. 27 1 P.M (HOME) -- The Ravens have won five of the past six against the Browns at M&T Bank Stadium.

4. PATRIOTS -- SUNDAY OCT. 4, 1 P.M. -- The Patriots are one of two teams the Ravens have not beaten in the regular season (the other: Carolina).

5. BENGALS -- SUNDAY OCT. 11, 1 P.M. (HOME) -- Think the Bengals will give up another Joe Flacco touchdown run?

6. VIKINGS -- SUNDAY OCT 18, 1 P.M. -- Minnesota is only NFL city where the Ravens haven't played a regular-season game.

BYE WEEK

8. BRONCOS -- SUNDAY NOV. 1, 1 P.M. (HOME) -- The Ravens have scored a total of 13 points in the past two games against Denver (2005-06).

9. BENGALS -- SUNDAY NOV 8, 1 P.M. -- The Ravens are 2-4 against Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati.

10. BROWNS -- MONDAY NOV. 18, 8:30 P.M. -- The Ravens came back from a 14-point deficit in the second half last year in Cleveland.

11. COLTS -- SUNDAY NOV. 22, 1 P.M. (HOME) -- At least Peyton Manning can't pick on Chris McAlister this year.

12. STEELERS -- SUNDAY NOV. 29, 8:20 P.M. (HOME) -- The Ravens' five-game home winning streak against the Steelers ended last season.

13. PACKERS -- SUNDAY DEC. 7, 8:30 P.M. -- It's the first time the Ravens will face the Packers without Brett Favre as their quarterback.

14. LIONS -- SUNDAY DEC. 13, 1 P.M. (HOME) -- The Ravens committed 21 penalties in the previous meeting with Detroit (2005).

15. BEARS -- SUNDAY DEC. 20, 1 P.M. (HOME) -- The last quarterback to play the Bears in Baltimore was Elvis Grbac (2001).

16. STEELERS -- SUNDAY DEC. 27, 1 P.M. -- Daren Stone shouldn't be allowed in the state of Pennsylvania this time.

17. RAIDERS -- SUNDAY JAN. 3, 4:15 P.M. -- The Ravens have won five of their past six season finales.

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