Tuesday night the NFL released it’s 2011 schedule, which of course we all hope will actually be used for the upcoming year. There are plenty of notable games and interesting storylines but here are just a few thoughts that jumped out at me.
1) No Monday Night Football at Home …. AGAIN.
Yes, the Ravens will travel to Jacksonville on Week Seven but Baltimore has once again failed to secure a home date to host Hank Williams Jr. and his rowdy friends who enjoy football. The last time the Ravens hosted a MNF game it was 2007.
I shouldn’t be too upset because….
2) The Ravens will play Five Games in Prime-Time.
The television landscape has changed over the years and honestly the Monday Night game isn’t the marquee match-up that it used to be. Instead that honor is reserved for Sunday Night Football. The Ravens will host the Jets and the Niners while they travel to Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, and San Diego.
I guess it’s fine that the away games outweighthe home contests since John Harbaugh is used to it by now. Of the 10 Prime games that have been played during Harbaugh’s tenure – 7 have been on the road.
3) Harbaugh Civil War on Turkey Day.
I had a feeling this was coming. Harbaugh versus Harbaugh on a day reserved for family or in some cases family disputes. I only hope that this game does not impact my high school Alma mater’s Turkey Day tradition of playing at M & T.
The schedule is also littered with holiday events as Baltimore plays on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day (My 40th Birthday).
4) The Road Schedule is Tougher than it looks.
At first glance the schedule looks a bit weaker than previous ones but don’t underestimate the power of the West Coast. The Chargers are always dangerous and the Seahawks should continue to improve.
5) Joe Flacco’s breakout season could be next season.
If only because he faces some pretty weak passing defenses. The Texans, Jags, and Titans all finished in the Bottom Ten in that category. Fantasy owners take note.
6) Last but not least.. The Steelers open the season at M & T Bank.
A chance to start fresh and atone for the mistakes of 2010. It only makes sense to go back to the scene of the crime. Just make sure someone blocks Polamalu!