Coach John Harbaugh embracing Ravens’ challenging schedule

OWINGS MILL — Coach John Harbaugh looks forward to being on center stage when the Ravens play the Chiefs in the NFL regular-season opener on Thursday, September 5th.

He also has no problem playing a road game on Christmas for the second straight year.

The Ravens’ game against Kansas City is one of the marquee games of the 2024 season, It’s also a rematch of the AFC Championship Game won by the Chiefs, 17-10, on January 28th.

“I love playing the Chiefs because I always love playing the Chiefs,” Harbaugh said on the Ravens’ podcast The Lounge. “I mean, now I’d like to beat the Chiefs a little more often than we’ve done. That will be the next goal. So much respect for those guys. But we just have to make sure we’re ready now. We’ve got something now, to know it’s in our grasp. This is who we’re playing in the opener and this is what we’ve got to get done.”

Based on 2023 regular-season records, Baltimore’s 2024 strength of schedule projects as the NFL’s second-toughest, with its opponents combining for a .536 (155-134) winning percentage.

The Ravens have five prime-time games, including a matchup against the Houston Texans at 4:30 on Christmas Day.

The Ravens defeated the Texans, 25-9, in the 2023 regular-season opener and emerged with a 34-10 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs. Now, the Texans will be a Super Bowl contender with quarterback C.J. Stroud running an offense that includes the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

The game will be aired exclusively on Netflix. The Ravens became the first NFL team to play back-to-back road games on Christmas. Last year, the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 33-19, in prime time on Christmas.

Harbaugh is looking forward to playing in another marquee game.

“It’s an honor to play on Christmas Day,” Harbaugh said. “It’s an honor to play on Netflix in front of the whole world. It’s going to be a huge, massive game. We’ve got to go on the road. I’d love for those guys or somebody else to be coming here on Christmas Day. I’d love it for our fans, too.”

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