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Baltimore Ravens

How the Ravens can clinch a playoff spot in Week 16

With the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 19-3 win over the New York Jets on “Thursday Night Football,” the Ravens are one step closer to wrapping up a playoff berth just in time for Christmas.

The Ravens (9-5) enter Saturday’s Week 16 game against the Atlanta Falcons (5-9) with a 98% chance of making the postseason, according to FiveThirtyEight. After the Jets’ loss, they have seven possible scenarios for clinching a playoff berth this weekend.

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Their simplest path: Beat the Falcons at home, then have either the New England Patriots lose to the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday or the Miami Dolphins lose to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. As of Thursday night, the Patriots were three-point underdogs, while the Dolphins were four-point favorites.

The Ravens could also clinch a playoff berth with a tie or loss, though they’d need plenty of help. If the Patriots lose to Cincinnati, the Cleveland Browns lose to or tie the New Orleans Saints, the Tennessee Titans lose to or tie the Houston Texans, the Las Vegas Raiders lose to or tie the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Los Angeles Chargers defeat the Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore is in.

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Here’s a look at their scenarios for Week 16:

  1. Ravens win + Dolphins loss or tie + Patriots loss or tie OR
  2. Ravens win + Dolphins loss or tie + Jets loss or tie OR
  3. Ravens win + Patriots loss or tie + Jets loss or tie OR
  4. Ravens tie + Patriots loss + Jets loss OR
  5. Ravens tie + Patriots loss + Dolphins loss + Chargers win OR
  6. Ravens tie + Patriots tie + Jets loss + Dolphins loss OR
  7. Patriots loss + Jets loss + Browns loss or tie + Raiders loss or tie + Titans loss or tie + Chargers win

While the Ravens will be without star quarterback Lamar Jackson for their third straight game Saturday, they still have a chance to claim the AFC North title. They’re a game behind Cincinnati (10-4) in the division, but with a win over the Bengals in their regular-season finale, they’d win a potential tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep.


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