Ravens could win out and still miss the playoffs

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

With two games left in the season, the Ravens would currently be a wild card team. Usually, a team in that situation just has to win out to make the playoffs. But that’s not the case for Baltimore.

The Ravens do not control their own destiny and actually need help to get to the playoffs. Even if they win out to finish the season 10-6, there’s a scenario in which the Ravens don’t make the playoffs.

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That scenario is if they finish tied with the Texans for the final wild card berth: Although the Ravens are in good shape if the Texans win the AFC South because a 10-6 Baltimore would own a tiebreaker edge over either Indianapolis or Tennessee, Baltimore still has to worry about losing out on a wild card tiebreaker with a 10-6 Houston.

If Baltimore and Houston both finish 10-6, and either Indianapolis or Tennessee wins out, that would leave Baltimore and Houston down to the “strength of victory” tiebreaker. And so many things can change in that tiebreaker between now and the end of the season that there’s no sure way to say who would win that tiebreaker.

So if you’re a Ravens fan, you should obviously be rooting for your team to win out. And you also want the Steelers to lose a game, which would give the Ravens the AFC North title. But if the Steelers and Ravens both win out, then Ravens fans should also root for the Texans to win at least once. That’s the scenario that ensures the Ravens would make the playoffs if they win out.

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