Usually when you win the Super Bowl, that means you kick off the following season on the national televised Thursday night game.
However that won’t be the case with the defending champions the Baltimore Ravens as the Ravens not only will open up the season on the road, but may have to do so at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Ravens cannot play at home on the night of Thursday, Sept. 5, when the NFL will open its season, thanks to the Baltimore Orioles having a home game that same evening, so NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced last week that the Ravens would open up on the road.
According to the Tribune-Review’s Alan Robinson, Pittsburgh and Denver are two of the primary sites being considered by the league. The Chicago Bears also could be the opponent if the NFL decides to match the Ravens against an interconference opponent.
Goodell will want a strong matchup for television and both the Steelers and Broncos can deliver that.
Ravens-Steelers games are typically played at night and do very well when it comes to ratings. In addition, most of the time it turns out to be great football to watch. Not only do the two teams hate each other, but seven of the last nine meetings between the teams have been decided by three points or less.
The Steelers won’t have a baseball conflict that night because the Pirates are out of town. It won’t be an issue for the Broncos either because the Rockies play in a different part of town.
Normally a team coming off of an 8-8 season doesn’t get rewarded with such a game early in the season, but the Steelers may have hit the jackpot with this one as they could potentially get the season started in a big way.