Baltimore Ravens will get tested early with challenging start to 2017 schedule

Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has released its 2017 regular-season schedule. Here’s a look at what’s in store for the Baltimore Ravens.

Breakdown: The Ravens will find out what kind of team they have early with a challenging start to the season, at least in terms of location. Baltimore begins 2017 with a trip to Cincinnati, where the team hasn't won since 2011. The Ravens then face their toughest stretch of their schedule in Weeks 3-5, when they travel to London to play the Jacksonville Jaguars in the franchise's first international game and return to play home against the Steelers before making a cross-country trip to Oakland. Baltimore requested not to receive an early by after playing overseas, but the Ravens probably didn't envision playing in England and on the West Coast of the United States in a span of two weeks. After a Week 10 bye and a game at Green Bay, Baltimore finishes by playing four of its final six games at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens have three prime-time games: home against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night (Oct. 26), home against the Houston Texans on Monday night (Nov. 27) and at the Steelers on Sunday night (Dec. 10).

Long-awaited home MNF game: The Ravens will play host to Monday Night Football for the first time in five years when they face the Texans on Nov. 27. Baltimore has long sought to get this game -- and for good reason. Since John Harbaugh became coach in 2008, the Ravens have played a league-high 11 Monday night games on the road and a league-low one at home. Traveling back after a late Monday game on an already shortened week has been a repeated scheduling disadvantage for Baltimore.

Home for the holidays: The Ravens will enjoy a franchise first when they play at home for Christmas weekend and New Year's Eve. It marks the first time in their 22-year existence that the Ravens will finish the regular season with back-to-back home games. Baltimore plays host to the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 23 and the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 31. Finishing with the Bengals at home in the finale is fair. The Ravens have played their final regular-season game in Cincinnati in five of the six previous seasons.

Strength of schedule: 24th, .461

Ravens Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, Cleveland, 1 p.m.

  • Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, at Jacksonville, 9:30 a.m.

  • Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.

  • Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, Chicago, 1 p.m.

  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22, at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

  • Week 8: Thursday, Oct. 26, Miami, 8:25 p.m.

  • Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

  • Week 10: BYE

  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, at Green Bay, 1 p.m.

  • Week 12: Monday, Nov. 27, Houston, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, Detroit, 1 p.m.

  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

  • Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 23, Indianapolis, 4:30 p.m.

  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, Cincinnati, 1 p.m.