The Baltimore Ravens are sitting at 4-5 with seven games remaining and are just one and a half games behind the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals and just one game out for the sixth playoff spot in the AFC. Today we wanted to break down the wildcard standings in the AFC and how it relates to the Ravens.
Keep in mind, we are not dumb here, obviously the Ravens would rather win the AFC North to have a home playoff game, but the bottom line goal is to make the playoffs, thus Baltimore still pays attention to the wildcard.
|AFC Wildcard Standings||W||L||GB|
As you can see, it is quite a crowded battle for the sixth and final spot and two teams (Raiders and Steelers) are just two games back, so there are a lot teams vying for one spot, but surely with seven games left, these teams will separate themselves.
Baltimore is actually in a great position, despite the vast number of teams because they control their own destiny in a sense. The Jets currently hold the sixth spot, but New York will travel to Baltimore later this season in a potentially huge matchup and if the Ravens come out victorious in that game they would then hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
If the Browns and Ravens finished the season tied for the final spot with no other teams tied, then it would come down to their division records due to each team beating the other once. Baltimore is currently 2-2 with games against the Steelers and Bengals remaining, while the Browns are 2-1 with two games against the Steelers and one against the Bengals. If they were to finish with the same division record, then the tiebreaker would come down to their winning percentage among common opponents faced.
The two wildcards in this (pun intended) are the Titans and Chargers because the Ravens do not play either of those teams this season, thus the tiebreaker would be conference winning percentage. In case you were wondering, the Ravens are 4-4 in the AFC right now, while the Titans are 3-3 and the Chargers are 2-4, thus Baltimore does have the advantage over the Chargers right now.
Confused yet? Don't worry, we were too a little bit, but the bottom line is that Baltimore will almost need to beat the Jets later this season, unless the Jets become the Jets again and start losing games in bunches. Also, with seven games remaining, there is and will be a lot of shuffling that will take place. Ultimately, if the Ravens handle their business, the wildcard spot will not be the focus anyway.
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