Like most of us, the Ravens will be sitting in their easy chairs today watching NFL games. But they will have a keen interest in some of the games because they involve future opponents or fellow wild-card playoff contenders.
Here’s a look at some of the games the Ravens will be watching:
>>Steelers at Colts, 1 p.m.: The Steelers are 6-2 and running away with the AFC North. But the 3-6 Colts have been competitive with a backup quarterback and an opportunistic defense. The Steelers are coming off a bye week, so maybe they have a little rust. Both are future Ravens opponents, so even if this isn’t the main game they’ll be watching, they’ll be flipping to it during timeouts. The Steelers are 10-point favorites. But let’s be honest — who doesn’t like to see the Steelers lose?
>>Bengals at Titans, 1 p.m.: The Bengals always find a way to throw a wrench into a Ravens season, but they are 3-5 and a loss would put any playoff hopes into jeopardy. The Titans are 5-3 and have beaten the Ravens already this season. Who do you root for? It would be great to see the Bengals dead and buried, but the Titans are one of the main obstacles in the Ravens’ wild-card path. Tennessee is a 4.5-point favorite.
>>Packers at Bears, 1 p.m.: Only because Green Bay is the Ravens’ opponent next Sunday. The Packers will be starting Brett Hundley at quarterback, not Aaron Rodgers. The Ravens haven’t had much luck against backup quarterbacks this season, but getting an early look at Hundley should help them next week. The Ravens have already lost to the Bears and know what they bring, so it will be a good barometer to measure the Packers. Chicago is a 5.5-point favorite.
>>Jets at Buccaneers, 1 p.m.: Somehow, the Jets have the same record as the Ravens and life in the wild-card race. But a loss to the 2-6 Bucs on the road would demoralize them. The Jets’ remaining schedule should be difficult enough to give the Ravens a leg up if the Jets lose.The Bucs won’t have Jameis Winston today.
>>Texans at Rams, 4:05 p.m.: Houston is the Ravens’ opponent the first game after Thanksgiving and it’s on Monday Night Football. The Texans are 3-5 and presumably will be starting Tom Savage at quarterback. A loss today would seriously dampen the Texans’ spirits. A young, inexperienced quarterback against the Ravens in M&T Bank Stadium on national TV? If the Ravens come out of the break and beat the Packers next Sunday, the Nov. 27 game against Houston without J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson should give them serious momentum. They’ll be watching.
So enjoy today’s games. You can “Watch Like A Raven.”