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Thursday - 4/12/2001

The Baltimore Ravens, the defending Super Bowl champions, will play the first Monday Night game in their six-year history when they host the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 17, the second week of the 16-game schedule released today by the NFL.

The Vikings' contest is one of three Monday night battles the Ravens play � sort of. Baltimore is at Tennessee on Monday, Nov. 12, and at Tampa Bay on Saturday, Dec. 29, in a game being billed as "Monday Night Football on Saturday Night". The NFL will not have a game on Monday night, Dec. 31. The Ravens host the Steelers on Sunday night, Dec. 16, in an ESPN game.

"With the Super Bowl title comes more nationalr recognition," Ravens' owner Art Modell says. "I'm very pleased to have five of our 16 games scheduled for national television, plus we have the preseason game at the Jets (Aug.18) on nationwide TV. I like the schedule. There's good balance to it."

Unlike last year when the Ravens opened the season with five of seven games on the road, Baltimore will start with back-to-back home games, both against NFC Central opponents. The Bears make their first visit to PSINet Stadium for the season opener on Sept. 9, which is followed by the Vikings Monday matchup.

The Ravens, who finished last season with a 16-4 record that included 11 victories in a row to end the season, do play three 2000 playoff teams in their first five games. Along with the Vikings, Baltimore is at Denver on
Sept. 30 in a national doubleheader game for CBS-TV. The Titans, the defending champions of the AFC Central, are at PSINet on Oct. 7. The Ravens'sixth game is at Green Bay (Oct. 14), which did not make the playoffs, but finished as one of the NFL's best teams with four consecutive victories,
including wins over playoff-bound Minnesota and Tampa Bay.

"Part of the challenge of being the defending champion is adjusting to a tougher schedule with different routines," head coach Brian Billick offers."I like opening at home with our fans helping us get off to a good start.
There are tough stretches, particularly in November, which is part of a string of eight games with six on the road. I do like finishing with three of four at PSINet, especially with two AFC Central teams here in December."

Baltimore will play three of four on the road in November, all against division rivals. The Ravens play at Pittsburgh on Nov. 4, at Tennessee the following Monday (Nov. 12), home to Cleveland on Nov. 18 and are at Jacksonville on Nov. 25. This section of the schedule includes six straight
and eight of nine games against AFC Central divisional rivals.

The Indianapolis Colts, another 2000 playoff team, visit PSINet on Dec. 2,which is the game before the Ravens' bye weekend (Dec. 9). The Jaguars are in Baltimore Oct. 28, while the Ravens annual visits to Cincinnati and Cleveland are on Sept. 23 and Oct. 21, respectively.

The Ravens' 2001 regular season schedule follows. The preseason schedule with road games at Philadelphia and the Jets and home contests against the Panthers and Giants will be announced at a later date.

Sun.,Sept. 9CHICAGO BEARSPSINet Stadium1:00 p.m.
Mon.,Sept. 17MINNESOTA VIKINGSPSINet Stadium9:00 p.m. (ABC)
Sun.,Sept. 23at Cincinnati BengalsPaul Brown Stadium1:00 p.m.
Sun.,Sept. 30at Denver BroncosInvesco Field at Mile High4:15 p.m. (CBS National)
Sun.,Oct. 7TENNESSEE TITANSPSINet Stadium1:00 p.m.
Sun.,Oct. 14at Green Bay PackersLambeau Field1:00 p.m.
Sun.,Oct. 21at Cleveland BrownsCleveland Browns Stadium1:00 p.m.
Sun.,Oct. 28JACKSONVILLE JAGUARSPSINet Stadium1:00 p.m.
Sun.,Nov. 4at Pittsburgh SteelersNew Stadium at Pittsburgh1:00 p.m.
Mon.,Nov. 12at Tennessee TitansAdelphia Colesium9:00 p.m. (ABC)
Sun.,Nov. 18CLEVELAND BROWNSPSINet Stadium1:00 p.m.
Sun.,Nov. 25at Jacksonville JaguarsALLTEL Stadium1:00 p.m.
Sun.,Dec. 2INDIANAPOLIS COLTSPSINet Stadium1:00 p.m.
Sun.,Dec. 9BYE
Sun.,Dec. 16PITTSBURGH STEELERSPSINet Stadium8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sun.,Dec. 23CINCINNATI BENGALSPSINet Stadium1:00 p.m.
Sat.,Dec. 29at Tampa Bay BuccaneersRaymond James Stadium9:00 p.m. (ABC)
* HOME GAMES IN CAPSAll Times Eastern