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Beating the Detroit Lions Monday was going to be important for the Ravens regardless of what happened Sunday, but getting a win is even more critical for Baltimore now.
By beating the New England Patriots Sunday, the Dolphins improved to 8-6 and took a half-game lead on the Ravens for the second wild-card spot.
Should Baltimore lose to the Lions and drop to 7-7, it would fall a full game back of Miami with two games left, and the Dolphins have by far the more favorable remaining schedule.
The Ravens close out their regular season against the 10-4 and the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals.
Miami plays the 5-9 Buffalo Bills and the 6-8 New York Jets.
With a loss, Baltimore would also then have the same record as the San Diego Chargers. But Miami is the Ravens' primary issue at this point. And because of the Dolphins winning Sunday, Baltimore will have a difficult time making the playoffs if it does end up losing to the Lions.
If the Ravens win, though, they would at least temporarily move back into the second wild-card spot based on a head-to-head tiebreaker with Miami.
They would also be just a game back of the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North after the Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday.

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