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Breaking Down the AFC Wildcard Scenarios; Baltimore Ravens Have Simple Path

December 24th, 2013 at 7:30 AM
By Josh Michael

The Baltimore Ravens lost control of their playoff destiny with their 41-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, and although they have been eliminated from the AFC North division race, they can still secure their sixth straight playoff appearance. Today we breakdown all of the scenarios for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.

'AFC' photo (c) 2008, Ryan Schreiber - license:

Baltimore has a number of ways that they can secure the final playoff spot, and the fact that no team among the four battling for the spot is in a situation where a win and a win alone gets them the spot.

Currently, the Ravens, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and believe it or not the Pittsburgh Steelers all have a chance at the sixth seed in the AFC, but Pittsburgh has the longest shot of them all as they need a win AND losses by the Ravens, Chargers and Dolphins. If the Ravens, Dolphins and Chargers all win, then the Dolphins would get the final playoff spot due to their AFC record.

The Ravens can get into the playoffs four ways on Sunday:

  • Ravens win AND Dolphins lose: Baltimore holds the tiebreaker over the Chargers courtesy of their better in conference AFC record, thus a win and a Dolphins loss would produce a tie between the Chargers and Ravens, given a Chargers win on Sunday, and thus Baltimore would make the playoffs.
  • Ravens win AND Chargers lose: The Ravens also hold the tiebreaker over the Dolphins courtesy of their victory over Miami earlier in the season, thus a win by Baltimore and a San Diego loss would secure the final playoff spot for the Ravens.
  • Ravens win AND Chargers and Dolphins lose: This is the simplest formula, if Baltimore wins and both the Dolphins and Chargers lose, then the Ravens make the playoffs simply on having the better record.
  • Ravens lose AND Steelers, Dolphins, and Chargers all lose: Hopefully it would not come down to this for Ravens fans and players, but if the team were to lose, they can still back into the playoffs with loses by the Dolphins, Chargers and Steelers.

It should be a gut-wrenching, heart pounding final week of the regular season, and Charm City is hoping that it will not be the last week of Ravens football this season.

AFC Wildcard
AFC WildcardWeek 17 opponentRecord
Dolphinsvs New York Jets8-7
Ravensat Cincinnati Bengals8-7
Chargersvs Kansas City Chiefs8-7
Steelersvs Cleveland Browns7-8


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Tags: AFC Wildcard, Baltimore, Baltimore Ravens, Football, Miami Dolphins, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers

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