Early birds: Ravens spending week in London


After a blowout loss in London six years ago, the Baltimore Ravens are taking a much different route to England this time.

The Ravens headed overseas Monday morning, which marks the earliest a team has traveled for an international game this year. The Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills all left on Thursday for their London games this season.

Baltimore decided to fly out six days before its game against the Tennessee Titans because of a forgettable experience in 2017. In the Ravens’ only international game in franchise history, the team flew out on Thursday night and got routed by the Jaguars 44-7. The 37-point loss is the second-largest margin of defeat in an NFL international game.

“It’s mostly driven by the fact that we didn’t do well, so we did the opposite,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said when asked about leaving early in the week. “There’s no data — and we looked for it — to say when you should go out there and what’s the ideal thing. I’ll say this kind of in jest, what’s the science on that? As often is the case, they really don’t know. That’s just the way it is.”

The Titans are flying out Thursday after practice.

By spending the entire week in London, the Ravens will temporarily move their entire operations across the pond.

“The good thing about it is I personally don’t have to worry about any of that. I just expect it to be perfect,” Harbaugh said with a smile. “They do a great job. You got the video, you got the medical, you got the equipment, you got all those things — you got the computer stuff. As coaches and players, all we really have to do is go out there and focus on preparing and getting ready for the game.”

This is a quick turnaround for the Ravens (3-2). Baltimore left for England about 12 hours after landing back from Pittsburgh, where the Ravens fell to the Steelers 17-10 on Sunday.

But the Ravens are banking on being fully adjusted for Sunday’s game, which kicks off at 9:30 a.m. ET.

“Hopefully, by the time the game comes around … We’ve slept there six nights. You’d like to think we’ll be pretty well ready to go,” Harbaugh said. “I think that’s probably a big part of the decision to try and do it this way. Other teams go in there and say, ‘OK, we’re not going to mess with it. We’ll just stay on our own clock and play at 9:30 [British time] and we’ll get in and out. We don’t have to deal with it. It’s just kind of two schools of thought.”





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