Carroll County Times

Ravens Notebook: Playoff picture coming into focus

OWINGS MILLS - The AFC playoff picture is coming into focus.

With Sunday's results, all six playoff spots in the conference have been locked up.

But while the Indianapolis Colts (10-5) are locked in as the fifth seed and the Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) are entrenched as the sixth seed, the Houston Texans (12-3), the Denver Broncos (12-3), the New England Patriots (11-4) and the Baltimore Ravens (10-5) are still jockeying for playoff positioning heading into the final week of the regular season.

The Texans will earn the top seed in the conference with either a win against Indianapolis or a Broncos loss to the Kansas City Chiefs while Denver will draw the spot with a victory against the Chiefs and a Houston loss to the Colts. For the Patriots to earn the top seed, they would need to beat the Miami Dolphins and have both the Broncos and Texans lose.

Within that scenario, New England, Denver and Houston would all finish 12-4 and the Patriots would draw the top seed based on a tiebreaker.

The Ravens can finish no worse than the fourth seed, but could move up to the third seed with a win against the Bengals and a New England loss to Miami. As the third seed, Baltimore would host Cincinnati in the wild-card round of the playoffs with the winner traveling to face the second seed. If they finish as the fourth seed, the Ravens would host Indianapolis. The winner of that game would then travel to face the top seed.

NO SUSPENSION EXPECTED: Safety Ed Reed isn't expected to be suspended following his hit on New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz during Sunday's win against the Giants, per a report from the NFL Network.

Reed was flagged for a personal foul after delivering a shoulder to Cruz's upper body immediately following a catch along the sideline.

The flag was the fourth on Reed in the last three seasons for a hit to the head and neck area of a defenseless receiver.

Reed was levied a one-game suspension following his hit to the head of Pittsburgh Steelers Emmanuel Sanders in Week 11, although the suspension was later overturned and reduced to a $50,000 fine.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that he doesn't expect a decision from the NFL on Reed until later in the week.

NO MAJOR INJURIES: Baltimore escaped Sunday's win against New York without any significant injuries. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin exited the game with a left shoulder injury during the second half, but Harbaugh said Monday that Boldin has just a bruised shoulder.