2018 Baltimore Ravens game-by-game predictions

The Baltimore Ravens must overcome a heavy road schedule in the first two months of the season if they want to end their three-year playoff drought. The Ravens then stay at home for the entire month of November and finish the regular season by playing two of their last three games at M&T Bank Stadium.

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, vs. Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET

The Ravens typically start off strong under coach John Harbaugh at home. Since 2008, Baltimore is 5-1 in season openers played at M&T Bank Stadium. It was only two years ago when the Ravens opened up at home with a 13-7 victory against the Bills. Record: 1-0

Week 2: Thursday, Sept. 13, at Cincinnati Bengals, 8:20 p.m. ET

Paul Brown Stadium is Joe Flacco’s house of horrors. In nine games there, Flacco has thrown six touchdowns and 13 interceptions for a woeful 61.8 passer rating. He’s thrown for over 200 yards in Cincinnati only once in his career. Record: 1-1

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, vs. Denver Broncos, 1 p.m. ET

Denver has become one of the worst road teams in the NFL. The Broncos have lost nine of their past 10 games away from Mile High. Quarterback Case Keenum could change that, although there are doubts whether he can come close to repeating his career year with the Vikings last season. Plus, the Ravens get extra rest coming off a Thursday night game. Record: 2-1

Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m. ET

If the Ravens have learned anything in Pittsburgh, it's that they have to figure out how to finish out games. Stopping Ben Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter has been a major problem. In his past two games against Baltimore at Heinz Field, Roethlisberger has completed 30 of 43 passes (69.8 percent), throwing for 392 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the fourth quarter (121.5 passer rating). Record: 2-2

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET

The Ravens relocated from Cleveland in 1996, but they still make their home in Northern Ohio judging by how often they win there. No quarterback has won more games in Cleveland than Flacco since 2008. He is 8-1 with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. Record: 3-2

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, at Tennessee Titans, 4:25 p.m. ET

The Titans have been extremely tough to beat at home. Tennessee has won 10 of its past 12 games at Nissan Stadium, including a 23-20 win over the Ravens last season. Marcus Mariota has thrown for 14 touchdowns with four interceptions during that stretch. Record: 3-3

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21, vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:05 p.m. ET

An amazing bit of trivia: The Ravens are the only team that Drew Brees hasn’t beaten in what likely will be a Hall of Fame career. Brees is 0-4 against Baltimore, throwing nine touchdown passes and eight interceptions. Brees is well aware of this fact, which means it will be difficult for this streak to continue. Record: 3-4

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28, at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. ET

No quarterback has won more home games over the past three seasons than Cam Newton. He is 18-5 (.783), scoring a total of 50 touchdowns (38 passing and 12 rushing). This is a bigger challenge than the last time Baltimore played in Charlotte in 2010, when Brian St. Pierre started for the Panthers. Record: 3-5

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. ET

The Ravens haven’t lost home games to their biggest rival in consecutive seasons since 2001-02. How long ago was that? Tommy Maddox was quarterbacking the Steelers. Unlike last year, Baltimore isn’t playing host to Pittsburgh days after flying across the Atlantic from London. Record: 4-5

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET

Under coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals are 7-8 in Baltimore, notching three more wins than any other team since 2003. But the Ravens will be motivated by getting knocked out of the playoffs by Cincinnati on their home turf. Mention “fourth-and-12” to any Ravens player and see what reaction you get. Record: 5-5

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, vs. Oakland Raiders, 1 p.m. ET

The Ravens won in Oakland last season, but that win came against EJ Manuel. It’s a different story with Derek Carr, who is 2-0 against the Ravens. He has thrown for seven touchdowns with one interception for a 110.6 passer rating versus Baltimore. Record: 5-6

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET

Matt Ryan has recorded the sixth-best passer rating at home (102.4) over the past two seasons, throwing for 27 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. The last time Ryan played Baltimore in Atlanta was 2010, when he passed for 316 yards and three touchdowns. Record: 5-7

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET

Patrick Mahomes takes over for Alex Smith as Kansas City’s starting quarterback, which works in Baltimore’s favor. Under coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 20-8 against rookie or second-year quarterbacks, forcing 27 interceptions. Record: 6-7

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay was the worst defense in the NFL last season, and the Buccaneers were even more horrendous away from home. The Buccaneers allowed a league-worst 29.2 points per game on the road. Flacco and the offense have to take advantage of this to gain momentum for the home stretch. Record: 7-7

Week 16: Saturday/Sunday, Dec. 22 or 23, at Los Angeles Chargers, TBD

This is the time of year when the Chargers begin their late-season fade. The Chargers are 5-8 in December since 2015, and only five teams have been worse during this month. This is Baltimore's first NFL game in Los Angeles since October 1975, when the Colts lost to the Rams 24-13 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The expectation is lots of Ravens fans will pack the StubHub Center and make it feel like a home game for Baltimore. Record: 8-7

Note: The NFL will decide no later than after Week 8 whether the Ravens-Chargers will be played on Saturday (Dec. 22) or Sunday (Dec. 23). If the game is played on Saturday, it will be at either 4:30 p.m. ET or 8:20 p.m. ET on the NFL Network; if the game is selected for Sunday, it will be 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET

The Ravens have defeated the Browns in nine of the past 10 meetings at M&T Bank Stadium. That dominance has meant beating seven different Cleveland quarterbacks: Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Seneca Wallace (twice), Brandon Weeden (twice), Connor Shaw, Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer. Next up, former Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor or a rookie first-round pick. Record: 9-7