It's official: The only team that can keep the Baltimore Ravens from the AFC's No. 1 seed is Baltimore Ravens.
The NFL has confirmed to ESPN that if the Ravens win their final three games, they are guaranteed home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Three other AFC teams -- the New England Patriots, the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers -- also have 10-3 records. If the Ravens win out, they would win the AFC North over the Steelers by virtue of a season sweep and their strength of victory would be better than the other two teams.
The Ravens have never been a No. 1 playoff seed in their 16 years in Baltimore. Securing home-field has been the main focus down the stretch after they lost on the road as a wild card in their previous three postseasons. Sure, they always say they take it game by game, but in this case, doing so will get them where they want to be.
"That's the object: just to win the next game more than anything, probably," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said at his weekly press conference on Monday. "If that happens, we pretty much know where the chips are going to fall. So, we try to control what we can control, and obviously, we've got a big challenge this week."
That would be the San Diego Chargers in San Diego followed by a home game against the Cleveland Browns and a trip to Cincinnati to take on those plucky Bengals in the regular season finale.