The first thing that came to my mind while initially scanning the Ravens' 2010 regular season schedule was that they likely will get to miss Ben Roethlisberger for one of their two games against the Steelers.
Roethlisberger is expected to receive at least a four-game suspension from commissioner Roger Goodell sometime in the coming days, meaning that when the Ravens travel to Pittsburgh Week 4, they will probably not see Big Ben in uniform.
The Ravens caught a similar break with their match-up against the Jets, who will be without their new wide receiver Santonio Holmes for the first four games of the year because he violated the league's substance abuse policy.
The former Steelers wideout, who has been a thorn in the Ravens' side in previous games, will sit when Baltimore takes on the Jets to open the season.
Some other thoughts:
- Yes, it's a tough start to the season, with the Ravens having three of their first four games and four of their first six on the road. But they also finish off with four of their last six in the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium, so you can't be too upset about how the season ends.
- The middle of the schedule is fairly soft, and should allow John Harbaugh's crew to string together some fairly easy wins. The Ravens face the Bills, Panthers and Buccaneers within a five-game span; those teams went a combined 17-31 in 2009.
- I'm surprised that the NFL chose not to have the Ravens and Steelers square off one of the last two weeks of the season. The league decided to make the last game of the year a divisional contest for all teams, and they tried to get as many divisional games as possible in the final two weeks. I just assumed that Baltimore and Pittsburgh would be seeing each other down the stretch, but it turns out the Ravens will face the two other AFC North teams the final two weeks of the year. The Ravens' second match-up with the Steelers will come back in Week 13.
- Of the Ravens' four primetime regular season games, only one is at home, which might not make fans in the Charm City area too thrilled. The Ravens do host the Panthers for a Monday night game to kick off the preseason, however.