Ravens' 2011 schedule features Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh on Thanksgiving

49ers come to Baltimore Nov. 24; Ravens play four other prime-time games

April 19, 2011|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

Assuming the NFL lockout ends, the Ravens are scheduled for five prime-time games in the 2011 season, including a historic Thanksgiving night family showdown against the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium.

Not only does this mark the first Thanksgiving game for the Ravens, it's also the first time in NFL history that brothers (the Ravens' John Harbaugh and the 49ers' Jim Harbaugh) will face each other as head coaches. The last time a Baltimore NFL team played on Thanksgiving was 46 years ago, when the Colts played at Detroit.

John Harbaugh predicted this matchup would occur Nov. 24 on the NFL Network.

"Thanksgiving, family, football, sharing a meal and watching a football game together. What can be better than that?" John Harbaugh said on the NFL Network. "I'm excited about it. It's going to be historic. We're still trying to talk our parents into coming. My dad and mom said they're not going to be within three time zones of the game. We'll get them there somehow."

Jim Harbaugh said traveling across the country on a short week won't allow him to celebrate the holiday with his brother.

"One thing I can tell you is we're not going to have time to socialize the day of the game," Jim Harbaugh said.

John Harbaugh has other plans. "We're going to try to do is get Jim over to the house, get some turkey, get that tryptophan working so he'll get tired later in the day."

Besides playing the 49ers, the Ravens' other four prime-time games are: against the New York Jets (Oct. 2), at Jacksonville (Oct. 24), at Pittsburgh (Nov. 6) and at San Diego (Dec. 18).

The Ravens open the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 11 at M&T Bank Stadium, the third time in four years they will have started the season at home.

John Harbaugh said he was "not surprised" about playing the Steelers in the first game.

"What better way to start the season off than against our archrival?" he said.

First blood: The Ravens open the season against Pittsburgh at home (Sept. 11). It's the first time these rivals have started a season against each other since 2003.

Trap game: The Ravens play Cleveland at home (Dec. 24) after a Sunday night game across the country in San Diego.

Homecoming: Rex Ryan and Bart Scott return for their first regular-season game at M&T Bank Stadium in a Sunday night showdown (Oct. 2).

Early break: The Ravens get their bye in the first week available, which comes after four games. Of course, it could be like 2008, when they had to play 15 straight weeks because of Hurricane Ike in Houston.

Strangest call: The Ravens haven't had a home Monday night game since 2007, but Jacksonville gets one. In fact, the Ravens play at Jacksonville on Monday night (Oct. 24).

Prime time in Pittsburgh: The Ravens, 0-4 in prime-time regular-season games at Pittsburgh, play at Heinz Field on Sunday night (Nov. 6). Expect the Steelers to bring out a championship team at halftime like they always do.

Toughest back-to-back: The Ravens could be playing division leaders in consecutive weeks in December against Indianapolis (Dec. 11) and at San Diego (Dec. 18).

Bad streak: The Ravens try to end an eight-game losing streak to Peyton Manning and the Colts (Dec. 11).

Favorable streak: Of the Ravens' final eight games, six come against teams with uncertainty at quarterback.

Remember to take the offense: The Ravens finish the regular season at Cincinnati (Jan. 1), where they have scored a total of 17 points in their past two trips.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jamisonhensley

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