After a pair of dream results Sunday, the Ravens have the inside track to earning the AFC’s top playoff seed for the first time in franchise history.

With a 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers and New England’s loss to the Houston Texans, the Ravens (10-2) are tied with the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (10-2) for first place in the AFC. But the Ravens have the tiebreaker by virtue of their 37-20 win in Week 9.


“It just means you control your destiny, in that sense, but they don’t have a No. 1 seed until they do the seeding,” coach John Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference Monday. “So that’s four weeks away.”

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Ravens have an NFL-best 95% chance of earning a top-two seed and first-round bye in the postseason. New England’s odds are next best (85%), followed in the AFC by the Kansas City Chiefs (9%), who are 8-4 but have a tiebreaker over the Ravens and face the Patriots on the road this Sunday.

Houston (8-4) is the current third seed in the AFC, having already beaten the Chiefs this season. The Bills (9-3), who host the Ravens on Sunday in Buffalo, have the conference’s third-best record but are slotted as the fifth seed. They would need to jump New England in the AFC East standings to earn a top-four seed and avoid a wild-card berth.

The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) are in position for the second wild-card spot after a crucial AFC North win Sunday over the Cleveland Browns (5-7). The Tennessee Titans (7-5), Oakland Raiders (6-6) and Indianapolis Colts (6-6) are hot on their trail.

The Ravens finish their season at Buffalo, at home against the New York Jets (4-8), at Cleveland and then back home against the Steelers. After Sunday’s showdown with Kansas City, New England will head to Cincinnati to face the Bengals (1-11) before finishing the regular season with a pair of home games against the Bills and Miami Dolphins (3-9).

The Ravens can clinch their second consecutive AFC North title this weekend with a win over the Bills and a Steelers loss or tie against the Cardinals (3-8-1) in Arizona; or a tie against the Bills and a Steelers loss. The Ravens would clinch a playoff berth with either a win; a tie and a Titans loss or tie; a tie and a Texans loss or tie; or a Texans loss, a Colts loss or tie and a Raiders-Titans tie.

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