Chargers' comeback makes road to playoffs more difficult for Ravens

Ravens coach John Harbaugh reacts to a play during the game against the San Diego Chargers earlier this year.

The San Diego Chargers' comeback victory at M&T Bank Stadium three weeks ago was viewed as a significant hit to the Ravens' playoff hopes, but the Ravens overcame the setback to get into wild-card position.

Now, the Ravens are dealing with the ramifications of another Chargers' comeback, this one against John Harbaugh's brother, Jim, and the San Francisco 49ers.


The Chargers rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit last night to beat the host 49ers, 38-35, in overtime. The victory improved San Diego's record to 9-6, and means that the Ravens will not be able to clinch a postseason berth Sunday.

Entering the weekend, the Ravens (9-5) knew that they could clinch at least a wild-card spot with a victory this afternoon against the Houston Texans (7-7) and losses by the Chargers against the 49ers, and the Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) against the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-4).


However, that scenario no longer is in play because of San Diego's win last night.

Now, the Ravens' only chance to clinch a postseason berth before their regular-season finale next Sunday against the Cleveland Browns is a victory over the Texans, a Steelers' loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, and a Cincinnati Bengals' loss to the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.

Here are three other things to keep in mind as you ponder the results from around the NFL:

1. If the Ravens lose to the Texans, they'll be on the outside of the playoff picture heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

2. If the Ravens win their final two regular-season games, they are in the playoffs regardless.

3. If the Ravens win out and the Steelers and Bengals each lose one of their final two games, the Ravens would still win the AFC North and host a first-round playoff game.