The only thing that matters to the Ravens (10-6) is that they'll get another opportunity to overcome their struggles Saturday night, when they face the third-seeded and AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) at Heinz Field in the AFC wild-card round.
As the Ravens (9-6) square off with the Cleveland Browns (7-8) in a regular-season finale Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, here's Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson¿s checklist of things to keep an eye on:
The Ravens appear to have returned to practice after enjoying Thursday off for Christmas without Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (back/thigh), defensive end Chris Canty (ankle), and left tackle Eugene Monroe (foot/ankle).
As he walked out of the visiting locker room late Sunday afternoon following one of the finest days of his career, Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil was serenaded by a chant that is usually heard only at his home stadium.
The Ravens'¿ fourth-ranked running defense enters its first game without Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata with a unique challenge in Miami's spread-option offense, which features quarterback Ryan Tannehill as a threat to run and has proven difficult for defenses to stop all season.
Ravens Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has been suspended by the NFL for four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the latest blow to the team's playoff hopes.
One year after the Ravens (7-5) failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time under coach John Harbaugh, they¿re facing what basically amounts to a must-win situation against the Dolphins (7-5) at Sun Life Stadium.
Ray Rice's seven-year association with Baltimore won't really be over until another team signs him, but arbitrator Barbara S. Jones reinstated Rice on Friday after he missed 12 weeks of the 2014 season. Rice was suspended indefinitely by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Sept. 15.