The statement from the Ravens regarding their inability to play at home on September 5 includes an important tidbit of news.
They will still be playing that night.
“The Ravens will open the season on the road on Thursday night, September 5, in our annual NFL Kickoff Game on NBC,” the NFL has announced. ”We are exploring potential fan activities in Baltimore around the Kickoff Game, including a pre-game concert.”
Possible destinations based on Baltimore’s schedule include Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, and Denver.
The most intriguing matchup comes in Denver, where the Ravens stunned the Broncos in the playoffs. But why should the Ravens have to roll into the lion’s den for their first game of the season? An argument could be made that the Ravens should be given the ability to choose their opponent for the Week One road opener — or at a minimum to veto the possibility of games at Denver or Pittsburgh.
The only certainty at this point is that the game won’t be played in Cincinnati, since the Bengals have the same problem that forced the Ravens out of town.
Our preference would be Miami, which would guarantee a sellout for the Dolphins, a high-profile team (at least for now) via their free-agency moves — which included the pilfering of Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. Also, having the NFL season start in South Florida could help when the time comes to finagle votes for the Sun Life Stadium renovation referendum.