The Ravens still hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Dolphins for the second wild-card spot in the AFC by virtue of their road victory over Miami earlier this season.
However, the Ravens are currently a half-game behind the Dolphins in the playoff standings having played one less game. If the Ravens lose to the Lions, though, they would fall a full game behind the Dolphins with two games remaining in the regular season.
And the Ravens have upcoming games against two first-place teams in the Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals. If the Ravens win out, they are assured of claiming the sixth playoff seed.
That would require either finishing with a record better than the Bengals' or earning a head-to-head tiebreaker over them through completing a sweep of the season series.
If the Ravens win Monday night, they would be just one game behind the Bengals with two games to go. If the season were over today, the third-seeded Bengals would host the sixth-seeded Dolphins.
The Ravens are on a three-game winning streak, as are the Dolphins, in what's shaping up as an extremely tight playoff race.
Under coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens have never failed to qualify for the postseason during his previous five seasons since being hired in 2008.
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