We have four miserable work days to fill until the Ravens’ 2009 season opener this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs. So I figured, in order to help pass the time, I would do a quick semi-preview (quasi-Lebronish?) of the purple and black’s schedule for the coming months, breaking it up to 4 games/day through Friday.
Of course, all of these predictions are based on rosters, teams, etc., as they stand today. Injuries, suspensions, and whatever else could easily drastically change my feeling about any or all of the games. This is for fun more than anything else, so don’t go calling your bookie on my recommendations.
Week 1 – vs. Kansas City
Matt Cassel is supposedly planning to make the start, despite injuring his knee last week. If he is unable to go, Brodie Croyle will be under center. It won’t matter if it is Cassel or Croyle, though. SOMEBODY wearing a Chiefs jersey is going to be throwing balls to Ed Reed this Sunday. M&T Bank will be rockin’, I’ll be attending my second Ravens’ home opener (hope to see you there!), and the Ravens will win, and win big.
Chance of victory: 90%
Week 2 – @ San Diego
A week 2 east-to-west trip for the Mauve Marauders (no? OK.) looks less than appetizing at this point. San Diego looks to be loaded once again on both sides of the ball, and after their terrible start last season, one would have to believe that they will learn from their mistakes and not let themselves fall into another 4-8 hole before they decide to start playing for keeps. I think the Ravens will keep this one close, and avoid getting embarrassed like they did on their last trip to Qualcomm, but I don’t see them bringing a W back from sunny San Diego.
Chance of victory: 40%
Week 3 – vs. Cleveland
Presumably, Eric Mangina Mangini will have decided on a QB between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn by the end of September, but who’s to say for sure? Neither of them will be able to handle the Ravens’ D, and even though he made the team against everyone’s predictions, Jamal Lewis is but a shell of his former self. If Cleveland somehow beats Minnesota, wins at Mile High, and rolls into B’More 2-0 on 9/27, I might be a tad more worried, but another Brown-stain whooping looks much more likely sitting here on Labor Day.
Chance of victory: 80%
Week 4 – @ New England
Guhhh. Another early season road trip, another brutal opponent. The Pats and their fans will no doubt remember that it was the Ravens who kept their 11-5 team out of the postseason in 2008, but the more important factor will be the return of Tom Brady. After having 3 weeks to shake off any rust (or anything else) that he may have gathered over the past year of laying in bed all day with his supermodel wife, Brady and the Pats’ offense are likely to be firing on all cylinders by Week 4. I don’t think they’ll run away with it, and the Ravens will hang around just long enough to give us all heart palpitations, but Randy Moss or Wes Welker will supply the dagger late in the 4th quarter.
Chance of victory: 25%
Tomorrow: Weeks 5-9