The last time the Ravens played in London was in 2017 in what was a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. Afterward, coach John Harbaugh said he had no interest in returning anytime soon.
Six years later, the Ravens and Harbaugh are heading back across the ocean.
The NFL revealed its five-game slate Wednesday morning, and the Ravens will play the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 15 in a Week 6 game. match at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. The game will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be broadcast on the NFL Network.
“We are looking forward to facing the Titans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium,” said Ravens chairman Sashi Brown said in a statement. “It’s exciting to witness and play a role in growing the popularity of the NFL around the globe. This is an incredible opportunity to play in front of and connect with Ravens fans in the UK and across Europe.”
The team’s full 2023 schedule, which also includes three trips to the West Coast to play the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers, will be released Thursday at 8 p.m.
This marks just the second international game in the Ravens’ 28-year existence. They hope it goes better than their first.
In a blundering performance filled with missed tackles and three turnovers, the Jaguars embarrassed the Ravens, 44-7, in the Week 3 matchup.
“We fell flat on our faces,” Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith said.
“They outplayed us in every phase of the game,” Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Maclin added. “That’s what happens in the National Football League when you’re not ready to play.”
Back then, Joe Flacco was the Ravens quarterback and didn’t complete a pass or get a first down until almost four minutes remained in the second quarter. The Jaguars led 23-0 at halftime and never looked back.
Flacco completed 8 of 18 passes for just 28 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns before being yanked for Ryan Mallett, who completed 6 of 9 passes for 36 yards and the Ravens’ only touchdown. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, meanwhile, was 20-for-31 for 244 yards with four touchdowns.
Harbaugh didn’t hold back in his comments the day after the game.
“Maybe I’ll get in trouble for saying that — don’t plan on going there anytime soon to play again,” he said. “So someone else can have that job.”
He also appeared to take aim at the NFL with his criticism, particularly regarding the logistics involved in playing a game overseas. The Ravens hotel was 45 minutes outside of London and the team trained for two days at a local rugby team’s facility.
“There were certain things that came up where you look at him and say, ‘It wasn’t ideal,'” Harbaugh said at the time. “But we had no way of knowing that. Some things we have no control over. We have no control over where we stay, how far the bus ride is, how long it takes to get to the stadium. What impact it had is the things we’re looking at.”
The 37-point blowout tied the largest margin of defeat in franchise history.
That wasn’t all.
As the national anthem began to play before the game, about 25 Ravens and Jaguars players — along with former Ravens star and Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, who was working the game as an analyst for Fox Sports — took a knee in protest against racism. injustice and police brutality and in response to then-President Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments earlier in the week about athletes protesting during the anthem. It was the first of several player protests around the league that day.
But this trip should be significantly different from the previous one.
The Ravens enter this season on the heels of recently re-signing quarterback Lamar Jackson to a five-year extension after two years of difficult negotiations and his request in March to be traded. Already boasting one of the league’s best defenses and the addition of two-time All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in free agency and Zay Flowers in the draft, Baltimore quickly went from question mark team to potential Super Bowl. pretender
As for the Titans, they are coming off a 9-7 season and are led by quarterback Ryan Tannehill and running back Derrick Henry, though they could be looking to trade both stars and enter a rebuild.
Like the Ravens, they also lost their last road game, falling to the then-San Diego Chargers, 20-19, in 2018 when coach Mike Vrabel opted to attempt a game-winning 2-point conversion of the match, with 31 seconds of play and defender. Marcus Mariota’s pass to wide receiver Taywan Taylor fell incomplete.