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Ravens rank 11th in toughest schedule in 2015

The Baltimore Ravens went from having one of the easiest schedules in 2014 to falling into the middle of the pack in 2015.

Based on 2014 records, the Ravens will play the 11th-toughest schedule in the league for the upcoming season. Their 2015 opponents had a 137-117-2 record last season (.539).

The Ravens will play seven games against 2014 playoff teams (Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Seattle, Denver and Arizona) and five games against teams that had losing records (Cleveland, St. Louis, Jacksonville and Oakland).

In comparison, the Steelers have the hardest schedule (.579) and the Falcons have the easiest (.409). All four AFC North teams rank among the top 11. The Ravens and the rest of the AFC North teams will play every team in the AFC West and NFC West this season. Where the Ravens differ with their division rivals is playing games against the third-place teams in the AFC East (Miami) and AFC South (Jacksonville).

How much does strength of schedule really matter at this point of the year? Last year at this time, the Ravens entered the 2014 season with the fifth-easiest strength of schedule based on the 2013 records of their opponents. At the end of the season, the Ravens still had the fifth-easiest schedule. That's what happens when you play four games against the NFC Soft, uh, South.

The schedule did play a part in how the 2014 season turned out. Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs in 2014, the Ravens were among the eight teams that had a strength of schedule below .500.

Here are the Baltimore Ravens' home and away opponents for the 2015 season:

Home: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Away: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.

The dates and times of the games will likely be announced in the next few weeks.