The Ravens’ 2020 schedule gives them a travel-related advantage they probably don’t need

Had the Chiefs not stormed through the AFC playoffs and knocked off the 49ers in Super Bowl 54, the Ravens, whose 14-2 record last season topped the NFL and earned them the top seed in their conference, likely would be the No. 1 team in our power rankings going into the 2020 season. Baltimore instead ranks No. 2 behind Kansas City.

Yet the release of the 2020 NFL schedule confirmed a notable advantage this season for our No. 2 team over No. 1. The Chiefs will travel a total of 15,661 miles to road games, and the Ravens will travel just 6,310 miles, the fewest by any team in the past four seasons, per ESPN.

In comparison, the team that will travel the most is the Seahawks, who will fly 29,203 miles to their away games, also per ESPN. The Rams (26,104 miles) and 49ers (25,507 miles) have the next-longest travel plans. This is because the NFC West in 2020 is matched up against both the NFC East and the AFC East in the interdivisional scheduling rotation.

The Ravens, who also have the NFL’s easiest slate according to strength of schedule rankings based on last season’s records, draw the NFC East and AFC South as members of the AFC North. Because they get both the Chiefs and the Cowboys at home, the Ravens will have to leave the Eastern time zone just once (at Texans in Week 2) the entire season.

Though Baltimore technically has the easiest schedule for 2020 in terms of opponents’ 2019 win percentage, chances are it won’t actually have the easiest schedule in 2020.

For one, we expect its division rivals in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati to improve upon the 32-64 mark they posted last season. Likewise, other teams on the Ravens’ schedule, such as the Giants, Eagles and Colts, could end up with more wins this year.

With all that said, only three teams on the Ravens’ schedule won more than 10 regular-season games last year.

And with Lamar Jackson still leading an offense that could be even more potent than it was last year, when it racked up a total of 6,521 yards, the question is worth asking.

Will Baltimore rack up more yards than miles traveled in 2020?

Source: Read Full Article