It has been well documented on these pages that the Ravens would be in a much different place had they held on to win against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, but they didn't, leaving them in a mess of 7-5 teams vying for just a handful of playoff spots.
Including the dogfight that is the AFC North, which has the Cincinnati Bengals leading the way at 8-3-1 and the Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers all at 7-5, the Ravens are also lumped in with the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego, and even the Houston Texans for what could amount to three playoff spots -- the AFC North crown, and two wild-card spots.
Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins will effectively eliminate one team, and Buffalo's upcoming schedule (at Denver, vs. Green Bay, at Oakland, and at New England) likely will eliminate them. Houston, though a game behind the Ravens at 6-6, has two games against the Jacksonville Jaguars remaining, and host the Ravens in Week 16.
Because the people who produce these data sets need more time than it takes me to just compile them here, this will be a Wednesday feature the rest of the way. But kudos to all of them for their hard work, from someone who uses a calculator for simple math.
Here's a small roundup of what the numbers-crunchers say about the Ravens' playoff chances heading into Week 14:
* Football Outsiders' data puts the Ravens' playoff chances at 44.8 percent, which is seventh-highest in the AFC behind Denver (99 percent), Indianapolis (96.3 percent), New England (93.1 percent), Cincinnati (65.3 percent), Kansas City (54.8 percent), and Miami (47.3 percent). San Diego, at 37.8 percent, follows the Ravens.
It's important to note that Football Outsiders' DVOA stat, which rates team efficiency compared to the league-average, has been high on the Ravens all season. This week's rankings place the Ravens at ninth in the NFL in offensive and defensive efficiency, and second in special teams, so this system might favor the Ravens more than most.
* ESPN's FiveThirtyEight has the Ravens with a 39.2 percent chance of qualifying for the playoffs, and notes that this week's game against Miami has the biggest playoff implication of any on the league's schedule. If the Ravens win, that percentage rises to nearly 70 percent. A loss drops it to around 20 percent.
* PlayoffStatus.com gives the Ravens a 32 percent chance of making the playoffs, second-highest among teams currently not in the top six, but outside the top six nonetheless.