The Baltimore Sun

To open the John Harbaugh era, the Ravens will play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 7 at M&T; Bank Stadium.

This marks just the second season opener at home in seven seasons for the Ravens. The last time the Ravens opened the season at home was 2005.

The Ravens also play three of their last four games at M&T; Bank Stadium, including the first regular-season visit by the Washington Redskins on Dec. 7.

"To start the season and to finish the season at home, it's going to give our fans a chance to make a difference for our football team this year," Harbaugh said.

This year's schedule will be challenging because half of the Ravens' games this season come against 2007 playoff teams.

The hardest part of the schedule seems to be in the middle of the season, when the Ravens play five road games in eight weeks.

"It's going to be a tough and demanding schedule," Harbaugh said, "and we're looking forward to it."

Coming off a 5-11 season, the Ravens currently have two prime-time games: at Pittsburgh on Monday night (Sept. 29) and at Dallas on Saturday night (Dec. 20) in what will be the final regular-season game at Texas Stadium.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com RAVENS 2008 SKED

Home games in bold Week 1: Sept. 7, 1 p.m. vs. Cincinnati Bengals: The Ravens are 1-5 in season openers since 2002.

Week 2: Sept. 14, 4:15 p.m. at Houston Texans: Only the third meeting between the two young franchises.

Week 3: Sept. 21, 4:15 p.m. vs. Cleveland Browns: Referees can now go to video replay for controversial field goals.

Week 4: Sept. 29, 8:30 p.m. at Pittsburgh Steelers: Last year's Monday night game in Pittsburgh was a 38-7 loss.

Week 5: Oct. 5, 1 p.m. vs. Tennessee Titans: Steve McNair, Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle face their former team again.

Week 6: Oct. 12, 1 p.m. at Indianapolis Colts: Hopefully, the Ravens will have cornerbacks to cover the Colts this time.

Week 7: Oct. 19, 1 p.m. at Miami Dolphins: Whew, Cleo Lemon is no longer with the Dolphins.

Week 8: Oct. 26, 1 p.m. vs. Oakland Raiders: The Ravens are 3-0 against the Raiders in Baltimore.

Week 9: Nov. 2, 1 p.m. at Cleveland Browns: The Ravens have lost three of four at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: Nov. 16, 1 p.m. at New York Giants: The Giants won the Super Bowl but routinely lost at home last season.

Week 12: Nov. 23, 1 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Harbaugh goes against the team he worked for for 10 years.

Week 13: Nov. 30, 1 p.m. at Cincinnati Bengals: Can the Ravens keep Chad Johnson from celebrating this time?

Week 14: Dec. 7, 1 p.m. vs. Washington Redskins: The hated Redskins have never played the Ravens in Baltimore during the regular season.

Week 15: Dec. 14, 1 p.m. vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Ravens have beaten the Steelers five straight times at home.

Week 16: Dec. 20, 8:15 p.m. at Dallas Cowboys: Will the Ravens remember the snub by Jason Garrett?

Week 17: Dec. 28, 1 p.m. vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: The Ravens have won four of their past five season finales.

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