The Baltimore Ravens currently sit at 3-1 through a quarter of the season, with the team's lone loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
However, despite still clearly being one of the league's few elite teams, many pundits have their reservations about this Baltimore squad because of their performance in that matchup against Kansas City.
The Ravens have a golden opportunity to sway those opinions back in the other direction over the next month when they play the Bengals, Eagles, Steelers, and Colts with a bye week sandwiched in the middle. Baltimore is expected to be -- and should be -- favored in all four of those contests.
There's also another major thing that plays in Baltimore's favor over the next five weeks: the team's favorable travel schedule, which is something NBC Sports' Peter King pointed out during his Football Morning in America column on Monday.
"I think the Ravens won’t get travel fatigue anytime soon," King wrote. "In the 47 days between Sept. 21 and Nov. 6, Baltimore’s schedule includes two trips: the 43-mile bus ride south to FedEx field in the Washington burbs, and the 104-mile bus ride north to south Philadelphia."
Yes, that's right. The next time the Ravens will travel via airplane to an away game is for their Week 9 matchup in Indianapolis, which will mark the first time the team boards an aircraft since they returned to Baltimore following their Week 2 win over Houston.
Under normal circumstances, this is an extreme advantage. In the coronavirus world of 2020, this makes it an even greater edge.
The NFL is doing everything it can to instill safe protocols to conduct the full season amidst a pandemic. Still, teams have expectedly had positive tests.
Just look at New England, for example. The Patriots are playing the Chiefs on Monday night, one day after the game was originally scheduled, because QB Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19.
Not only did this impact the Patriots' gameplan, but their traveling party as well. New England did not depart for Kansas City until Monday morning, as the NFL made an exception for same-day travel due to the situation. The Patriots were also forced to take two airplanes: one with players who came in close proximity of Newton, and one of those who didn't.
Before the Patriots even land in Kansas City, they'll have gone through a whirlwind of a week. Now they have to try and play a game?
By not having to travel via airplane for the next several weeks, the Ravens can avoid a scenario like the current one in New England, should Baltimore have a player or two test positive.
Traveling takes a lot of time and energy in a normal world, but now especially with all the strict protocols in place. By not having any long trips until November, Baltimore will assuredly be well-rested and ready to play their best football come gameday.