The Baltimore Ravens have found a way to avoid some of the frequent jet lag on the road: after last week’s Denver game, the team stayed out west to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
And head coach John Harbaugh has made arrangements to do a similar Left Coast layover later in the season when his team again plays back-to-back games thousands of miles from M&T Bank Stadium.
Harbaugh’s decision was made after research from sleep experts showed teams had a better success rate when staying on their opponents’ coast for successive away games, according to ESPN.
Harbaugh consulted with his brother, Jim Harbaugh, former head coach at the San Francisco 49ers, who was in favor of the Ravens’ stay out west, ESPN reported.
During his time with the 49ers, Jim Harbaugh had the team remain in the east, in cities like such as Youngstown, Ohio, for week-long practices between back-to-back games in the region, according to the Associated Press.
While Ravens players will be away from friends and families, the days away will allow the team to keep practicing while staying on West Coast time. It’s a big deal: instead of flying out of Baltimore four days after coming home from a game in the west, the players this season will have a total of 20 days of practice sessions and hotel stays out west near their upcoming western games.
After being defeated by the Denver Broncos 19-13 during their season-opener in Colorado last Sunday, the Ravens practiced in the San Jose area before their game Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
Baltimore will have a similar itinerary during Weeks 6 and 7. After the Ravens play the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 18, Baltimore will fly into Phoenix to practice for a week before playing the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 26.
The Ravens may not be able to rack up frequent flyer points, but the long stays might give their rivals a run for their money on their home turf.