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Ravens' competition for AFC's top seed in playoffs

By Jeff Zrebiec They have been so unpredictable this season that it seems foolish to look too far ahead, but even the Ravens haven't been able to help themselves at times. Their confidence in their home-field advantage is so great, several Ravens have occasionally broken from all the "one game at a time" cliches to discuss how important it would be to get the No. 1 seed in their conference and a first-round bye, making the road to the Super Bowl go through Baltimore. "I think in the back of our mind, it's there. It's good to point out the intangibles and the things that we want to do. We talk about how we want to win a championship and things like that. We do want a home playoff game," Ravens second-year tight end Ed Dickson said. "For the last couple of years, we had to travel to Pittsburgh. The fans deserve to have a home playoff game, and we deserve to have a home playoff game. But with that said, we need to take care of business this week. We don't overlook anybody. When we overlook somebody, Seattle happens or Jacksonville happens." The Ravens haven't had a home playoff game since 2006, when they lost in the divisional round to the Indianapolis Colts. But the prospect of getting one looms large with the Ravens 6-0 so far at home this season and winners of 16 of their past 17 games at M&T Bank Stadium. With an 8-3 record, they are tied with the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans for the AFC's best mark. If the playoffs started today, they would be the No. 3 seed because the Texans (7-2) and Patriots (6-2) have a better conference record than the Ravens (5-2). Winning percentage in conference games is the first criterion for breaking three-way ties. But in five weeks, a lot can change, as the Ravens already know well because of disappointing losses against the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks. The focus remains on Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. "We expect it to be a tight race," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We just want to uphold our end of the bargain. What you have to concern yourself with is winning. That's the bottom line for us. We can't be concerned with what the other teams do. We have to be concerned with what we do. It's this week. That's what you have to focus on. This week becomes everything. [It] becomes all-consuming in a tight race like this." Here is a look at the Ravens' competition for the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC playoffs:
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