Sitting at 10-2, the Baltimore Ravens are currently the top team in the AFC. They are ahead of the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, and Kansas City Chiefs but haven't locked up a spot in the playoffs. However, that can change this week if everything plays out in the Ravens' favor.
Tuesday morning, the NFL released the list of playoff-clinching scenarios for some of the top NFL teams. Some required a win, as well as losses by other teams, but the Ravens have a very simple path. In order to lock up a spot in the postseason, Lamar Jackson and his teammates simply have to win on Sunday. Although they could also clinch a spot with a tie, provided the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans or Indianapolis Colts lose.
Securing a spot in the playoffs will be a primary goal this weekend, but the Ravens could also lock up a division crown as well. If Baltimore wins while the Pittsburgh Steelers lose, they will win the AFC North. Doing so will guarantee a home playoff game at some point in the postseason.
Winning and booking a trip to the playoffs will be critical for the Ravens, but winning will also keep them ahead of the New England Patriots. Baltimore holds the head-to-head tiebreaker after defeating Bill Belichick's team earlier this year, so finishing with the same record at the end of the season will automatically provide an advantage. This will be key when it comes time to assign the first-round bye weeks and home-field advantage.
The playoffs generally go through New England each year given that the Patriots tend to win the most games in the AFC while securing the top seed. Although the Kansas City Chiefs held the top seed in 2018 and hosted the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
The top seed hosts a game during the Divisional Round against one of the winning Wild Card teams. Taking care of business during the second weekend of the playoffs means that they also host the AFC Championship, which determines who will be going to the Super Bowl.
Taking home a victory on Sunday will not be as simple as expected given that the Ravens will be facing off with the Buffalo Bills. Sitting at 9-3 after a decisive Thanksgiving win over the Dallas Cowboys, the New York-based franchise can also secure their own spot in the playoffs. They just simply have to beat the Ravens and hope that the Raiders, Texans, and Colts all lose.0comments
On paper, the Ravens are the better team considering the new additions to the defense, the potential league MVP in Lamar Jackson, and a talented offense. Although Buffalo's Josh Allen has been keeping his offense moving all season long. He could potentially make this battle competitive on Sunday afternoon, but Allen will need his defense to somewhat limit the Ravens' offense and keep the game close.
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