"I think everybody did their best, I can say we're not batting a thousand, nobody did and nobody does," said Harbaugh on the Ravens COVID-19 preparedness.
The Ravens’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-0) on Wednesday afternoon officially knocked them out of contention for the AFC North title. With their third straight defeat, the Ravens sit at 6-5 and the ninth seed in the conference.
The undermanned team will get the majority of its players back from injuries and COVID-19-related absences in the next week-plus but will have to start stacking wins to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season. Fortunately, the final five-game stretch sets up favorably for the Ravens, with only one game against a team with a winning record.
ESPN’s NFL Football Power Index gives the Ravens a 76.7% chance of making the playoffs after losing their third straight game for the first time since 2018.
Here’s who the Ravens are vying with in the conference:
Tennessee Titans (8-3), third seed
The Titans pulled one game ahead of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South with a 45-26 win on Sunday. The season series between the teams is tied so any tiebreaker for the division would favor the team with the better division record. The Ravens’ playoff chances would fare better with the Titans winning the division instead of the Colts. Baltimore has the head-to-head edge over Indianapolis for a wild-card spot but not Tennessee.
The Bills sit one game ahead of the Miami Dolphins for the division lead in the AFC East. Buffalo still has a Sunday night matchup with the Steelers in Week 14 and a Week 17 regular-season finale against Miami that could decide the division.
ESPN FPI chance to make playoffs: 94.0%
Cleveland Browns (8-3), fifth seed
The Browns’ Week 12 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars ensured the franchise’s first non-losing season since 2007. Key games against the Titans, Steelers and Ravens loom over the final month. The Ravens blew out the Browns in Week 1 and a season sweep could deal a big blow to the playoff chances of their division rivals.
ESPN FPI chance to make playoffs: 75.2%
Miami Dolphins (7-4), sixth seed
The Dolphins were able to pick up a win even with rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sidelined by an injury and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick returning to his starting spot. Miami’s final month features a difficult slate; after a Week 13 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, it concludes the season with matchups against the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders and Bills.
ESPN FPI chance to make playoffs: 45.7%
Indianapolis Colts (7-4), seventh seed
The Colts’ loss to the Titans dropped them from a potential first-round home playoff game to the edge of the playoff picture. Key games against Las Vegas and Pittsburgh remain for Indianapolis.
Baltimore Ravens Insider Newsletter
Want the inside scoop on the Ravens? Become a Ravens Insider and you'll have access to news, notes and analysis from The Sun.
The Raiders’ blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons dropped them out of the seventh and final playoff spot. Las Vegas still has a Week 14 game against Indianapolis and a Week 16 matchup with Miami on its schedule. While the Raiders have the same record as the Ravens, they get the slight edge because of the superior conference record.
Yes, the Patriots have a losing record. But they have won three of their past four games and are just two games out of a playoff spot. New England also has the head-to-head edge over Las Vegas and Baltimore, and with the opportunity to sweep the season series with Miami, the Patriots could throw a wrinkle into the AFC playoff race.