John Harbaugh’s Reaction to Ravens Schedule, Chiefs Opener, Christmas, And More

May 19, 2024

QB Lamar Jackson

Whenever the NFL schedule drops, there are 32 teams around the league that dissect every possible benefit and disadvantage. In other words, everyone has feelings about their schedule.

When Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh joined “The Lounge” podcast for an episode that will drop next week during the first week of OTAs, he answered a few questions about his team’s 2024 schedule.

On the Ravens-Chiefs season opener:

The Ravens and Chiefs will kick off the NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 5 in a rematch of the AFC Championship.

One of the most highly anticipated games of the entire year will also be the first, and Harbaugh likes the idea of being on that premier stage.

“I was happy. I think it’s a great game to play in. I watch the Thursday night game. I can’t wait to get home and watch it when you’re playing on Sunday, you’re getting ready for your game,” he said. “Now we’re going to be playing in that game. I like the idea of playing early. You get to it. We get to play the season three days earlier than everybody else. So we get started.”

Harbaugh also said he likes to get a few extra days of rest after that season-opener. The Ravens will have 10 days between their Week 1 game in Kansas City and home opener versus the Las Vegas Raiders.

That first game against the two-time defending Super Bowl champions will be an early measuring stick.

“I love playing the Chiefs because I always love playing the Chiefs,” Harbaugh said. “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.”

On a tough December with three games in 10 days:

The biggest groan coming from Baltimore may have been from players who saw that the Ravens are playing three games in 10 days in December against the Giants, Steelers, and Texans, respectively.

“We’ve got ways that we approach those short weeks. So we’ll be looking at those as both short weeks,” Harbaugh said.

“But the good news for me is that the teams we’re playing have the exact same issues. So nobody has an advantage. That’s the main thing. So when we play the Steelers, they’re on a six-day week. When we play the Texans, they’re on a four-day week. So they have to play the same deal that we have to play. Kudos to the league for doing that.”

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On another Christmas road game:

The Ravens will be the first team to ever play Christmas road games in back-to-back seasons when they travel to Houston in Week 17.

“It’s crazy for Christmas. It’s crazy for the families. But you know, it’s like Godfather II. ‘This is the [business] we’ve chosen,'” Harbaugh said.

“It’s an honor to play on Christmas Day. 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.”