Ravens’ playoff scenarios for Week 17: What seed will Baltimore earn?

Matthew Stevens
·4 min read

Week 16 isn’t completely over, as the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots still need to clash on “Monday Night Football.” But for the Ravens’ playoff scenarios, things are as clear as they’re going to get until next week when the dust settles. And with fans hungry to know where Baltimore stands in the playoff hunt, it’s a perfect opportunity to see exactly what’s potentially in store for the Ravens beyond Week 17.

Using ESPN’s playoff machine, I calculated every major scenario for the AFC to determine what is most likely to happen for the Ravens. While I didn’t factor in ties, this breaks down how Baltimore could be as high as the fifth seed and as low as out of the postseason entirely, and everything that needs to happen for each scenario.

For those wanting to keep track of the madness, it all starts tonight with the Bills vs. Patriots. But in Week 17, the Ravens vs. Bengals, Dolphins vs. Bills, Steelers vs. Browns, Titans vs. Texans, and Jaguars vs. Colts are all critically important to figuring out where Baltimore winds up and who they’ll face in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs.

Let’s dig into each possibility below and just how likely each scenario is.

Ravens have 7th seed vs. Bills (8 scenarios):

Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

Scenario 1 (4 chances):

  • Bills win in Week 16 and Week 17, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

    • Browns beat Steelers and Jaguars beat Colts, or

    • Steelers beat Browns and Colts beat Jaguars

Scenario 2 (2 chances):

  • Bills win in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Browns beat Steelers, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Scenario 3 (2 chances):

  • Bills lose in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Bills beat Dolphins, and

  • Browns beat Steelers, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Ravens have 7th seed vs. Steelers (8 scenarios):

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Scenario 3 (4 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Steelers beat Browns, and

  • Colts beat Jaguars

Scenario 2 (2 chances):

  • Bills beat Patriots in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Steelers beat Browns, and

  • Colts beat Jaguars

Scenario 3 (2 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Browns beat Steelers, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Ravens have 6th seed vs. Bills (13 scenarios):

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Scenario 1 (4 chances):

  • Bills beat Patriots in Week 16, and

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Steelers beat Browns

Scenario 2 (2 chances):

  • Bills beat Patriots in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Steelers beat Browns, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Scenario 3 (2 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Steelers beat Browns, and

  • Texans Beat Titans

Scenario 4 (2 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Browns beat Steelers, and

  • Texans beat Titans

Scenario 5 (2 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Bills beat Dolphins, and

  • Steelers beat Browns, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Scenario 6 (1 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Steelers beat Browns, and

  • Texans beat Titans, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Ravens have 6th seed vs. Steelers (6 scenarios):

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Scenario 1 (4 chances):

  • Bills beat Patriots in Week 16, and

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Browns beat Steelers

Scenario 2 (2 chances):

  • Bills beat Patriots in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Bills beat Dolphins, and

  • Steelers beat Browns

Ravens have 6th seed vs. Titans (5 scenarios):

AP Photo/Nick Wass

Scenario 1 (4 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Titans beat Texans

Scenario 2 (1 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Dolphins beat Bills, and

  • Steelers beat Browns, and

  • Titans beat Texans, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Ravens have 5th seed vs. Titans (12 scenarios):

AP Photo/Nick Wass

Scenario 1 (4 chances):

  • Bills beat Patriots in Week 16, and

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Bills beat Dolphins, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Scenario 2 (4 chances):

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Bills beat Dolphins, and

  • Titans beat Texans, and

  • Colts beat Jaguars

Scenario 3 (4 chances):

  • Patriots beat Bills in Week 16, and

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Bills beat Dolphins, and

  • Jaguars beat Colts

Ravens have 5th seed vs. Colts (4 scenarios):

Scenario 1 (4 chances):

  • Ravens beat Bengals, and

  • Bills beat Dolphins, and

  • Texans beat Titans, and

  • Colts beat Jaguars

Ravens miss the playoffs (8 scenarios):

AP Photo/Nick Wass

With Baltimore putting themselves into the No. 6 seed thanks to both the Browns and Colts losing in Week 16, there aren't too many scenarios that see the Ravens booted from contention. Of course, if they take care of their own business against the Cincinnati Bengals, they don't need to look at the scoreboard once to know they're in. If Baltimore misses the playoffs now, it'll be because these three things happened in Week 17:

  • Bengals beat Ravens, and

  • Colts beat Jaguars, and

  • Browns beat Steelers