Jamison HensleyESPN Staff Writer3 Minute Read
After suffering a devastating defeat in London six years ago, the Baltimore Ravens are taking a vastly different approach to their second trip to England.
The Ravens embarked on their overseas journey on Monday morning, making them the earliest NFL team to travel for an international game this year. In comparison, the Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Buffalo Bills departed on Thursday for their London games this season.
Baltimore decided to leave six days before their contest against the Tennessee Titans due to a memorable loss in 2017. In their sole international game in franchise history, the Ravens left on Thursday night and were crushed by the Jaguars with a final score of 44-7. It remains the second-largest margin of defeat in an NFL international game.
“The decision is primarily driven by our poor experience in the past. We wanted to do the complete opposite,” explained Ravens coach John Harbaugh when asked about their early departure. “There is no available data to indicate the ideal timing for such travels. It’s almost laughable. They simply don’t have sufficient scientific evidence. That’s just how it is.”
The Titans will depart on Thursday after their practice session.
By spending the entire week in London, the Ravens will temporarily relocate their entire operations across the pond.
“The advantage of this is that I personally don’t have to worry about any of that. I only expect perfection,” Harbaugh said with a smile. “They do an excellent job. We have video facilities, medical resources, equipment, computer systems, and everything else. As coaches and players, our sole focus is on preparation and getting ready for the game.”
This is a quick turnaround for the Ravens (3-2). They departed for England just 12 hours after returning from Pittsburgh, where they suffered a 17-10 defeat against the Steelers on Sunday.
However, the Ravens are confident in their ability to quickly adjust for Sunday’s early kickoff at 9:30 a.m. ET.
“Hopefully, by the time the game comes around… We will have spent six nights there. We would like to believe that we will be fully prepared,” Harbaugh said. “I think that’s a significant factor in our decision. Other teams might choose to maintain their regular schedule and play at 9:30 [British time], avoiding any adjustments. It’s simply a matter of two different approaches.”
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