xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

The early Week 13 results didn’t help the Ravens’ playoff chances

Even before Week 13 started, it seemed as if the Ravens (6-5) needed to win out to guarantee a spot in the postseason.

With the way the early games played out Sunday, an 11-5 finish might be their only hope.

Advertisement

Behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-0; vs. Washington on Monday night) and the Kansas City Chiefs (11-1; beat the Denver Broncos, 22-16, on Sunday night), the AFC playoff race is crowded with eight teams with six or more wins.

The Cleveland Browns beat the Tennessee Titans, 41-35, on Sunday to move to 9-3, clinching a winning season for the first time since 2007. The victory also pushed the Browns into the fifth seed, while knocking the Titans (8-4) to the fourth seed — pending the third-seeded Buffalo Bills’ (8-3) result Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The Miami Dolphins defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 19-7, and the Indianapolis Colts held off the Houston Texans, 26-20, to both move to 8-4. Miami is currently the sixth seed, while the Colts hold the seventh and final wild-card spot.

The Las Vegas Raiders (7-5) and New England Patriots (6-6) are still in the hunt, too. With Las Vegas trailing 28-24 late against the winless New York Jets, quarterback Derek Carr threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to rookie Henry Ruggs III with five seconds left to give the Raiders a 31-28 victory. Behind a dominant defense, an opportunistic offense and two special teams touchdowns, the Patriots routed the Los Angeles Chargers, 45-0.

At 6-5, it’s looking increasingly likely that the Ravens need to sweep their next five opponents — the Dallas Cowboys (3-8), Cleveland Browns (9-3), Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11), New York Giants (5-7) and Cincinnati Bengals (2-9-1) — to guarantee themselves a postseason berth. They should have the reigning Most Valuable Player back soon, as quarterback Lamar Jackson is reportedly expected to return from the reserve/COVID-19 list to start Tuesday night’s game against the Cowboys.

As a reminder, ties between two teams are first decided by head-to-head results. The Ravens have beaten the Colts, have lost to the Titans and Patriots, and will face the Browns again on Dec. 14 after defeating Cleveland in the season opener. If head-to-head results aren’t applicable, the tiebreaker would be the best win percentage in conference games, followed by the best win percentage in common games, with a minimum of four.

Advertisement

Here’s a look at the AFC playoff picture through Sunday’s games:

In the hunt

1. Steelers (11-0, vs. Washington)

2. Chiefs (11-1, W)

3. Bills (8-3, at 49ers)

4. Titans (8-4, L)

5. Browns (9-3, W)

6. Dolphins (8-4, W)

7. Colts (8-4, W)

On the bubble

8. Raiders (7-5, W)

9. Ravens (6-5, vs. Cowboys)

10. Patriots (6-6, W)

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement