The first look at the Ravens’ retooled offense will be on display for the entire country.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens will travel to Las Vegas to open the 2021 season against the Raiders on “Monday Night Football.” Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 13 and the game will simulcast on ESPN and ABC.
The NFL has turned its annual schedule reveal into a full-day affair this year; the league’s broadcasting partners, ABC, CBS and Fox, announced their Week 1 slates Wednesday morning. The remainder of the schedule will be announced at 7:50 p.m.
The Raiders are entering their second season in Las Vegas after relocating from Oakland and their fourth under coach Jon Gruden, who is in his second stint with the organization. Las Vegas finished second in the AFC West last season with an 8-8 record. The matchup will be a reunion with wide receiver Wille Snead IV and outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue, who signed with the Raiders in the offseason. Snead spent the last three seasons with the Ravens, while Ngakoue arrived in 2020 via a midseason trade with the Minnesota Vikings. The former Maryland star played in nine games before leaving in free agency.
It also will be Raiders tight end Darren Waller’s first game against his former team; Waller spent three seasons in Baltimore but served multiple suspensions, including a one-year ban, for violating the substance-abuse policy. After addressing his substance abuse issues, Las Vegas signed Waller off the Ravens’ practice squad in November 2018 and he has since emerged as one of the best tight ends in the league.
After another disappointing showing in a divisional-round flameout, this time to the Buffalo Bills, the Ravens prioritized the offense and Jackson in the offseason. The team signed veterans in wide receiver Sammy Watkins, and offensive linemen Kevin Zeitler and Alejandro Villanueva. The Ravens also drafted wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace in the first and fourth rounds, respectively, along with offensive guard Ben Cleveland in the third round.
The Ravens are 2-0 in the Lamar Jackson era in season openers, blowout victories over the Cleveland Browns and the Miami Dolphins. The team is 10-3 in season openers under coach John Harbaugh and has won its last five games in Week 1.
This story will be updated.