Yes, I know it was only the Lions but yesterday’s lopsided win was huge for the Ravens. It was not so much that the Ravens scored the most points in team history, but that they did it on a day when the two Wild Card leaders lost. Both Denver and Jacksonville lost yesterday keeping the Ravens very much alive in the Wild Card race. (The Bengals also lost yesterday, but would have to lose the rest of their games for us to have a shot at taking the division.)
Last year the Patriots missed the playoffs at 11-5, but this year it is now assured that at least one team will make the playoffs at 10-6, and despite a mediocre and frustrating season that could very well be the Ravens. If the season ended today the Ravens would miss the playoffs, but just barely. A lot can happen in the final three weeks. Let’s take a look at the remaining contenders for the two Wild Card slots. It should be noted that all of these scenarios are if the Ravens win out. One more loss would destroy the Ravens playoff hopes.
Remaining schedule: vs Oak, @ Phi, vs KC
Despite the Broncos being a game ahead of us in the Wild Card race, I believe they are casually our best shot to get into the playoffs. I am focusing on the middle game against the Eagles in Philly. The Eagles still have a lot to play for with a tight race in the NFC East and will make a very tough game for the Broncos. If the Broncos lost in Philly and win their other two games they would finish tied with the Ravens at 10-6. The Ravens, however, would hold the tiebreaker with a win over Denver in Week 8.
Remaining Schedule: vs Indy (this Thursday), @ NE, @ CLE
If both Jacksonville and the Ravens won out the Jaguars would make the playoffs because of a better conference record, but as you can see the Jaguars have two very tough in conference games remaining. If they were to lose one of these it would put the Ravens is very good position.
Remaining schedule: @ TEN, vs HOU, vs PIT
The Dolphins make me a little nervous. They have a fairly easy road the rest of the way, and if they win out they will have the same conference record as the Ravens. This would lead to moving down the list of tie-breaking procedures, which I am not prepared to do until at least week 16. I wonder if we went into the final week tied if the Steelers would tank in order to hurt the Ravens playoff hopes. I hope we would do the same if the situation was reversed. Let’s hope that the Dolphin lose to the Titans this week so we do not have to worry about that.
New York Jets
Remaining schedule: vs ATL, @ Indy, vs CIN
The Jets would be a long shot to contend with the Ravens because of a very tough remaining schedule and a worse conference record. I would rather not have to contend with them at the end of the season and hear ESPN blab on about how Rex Ryan is going up against his old team and how our defense has suffered without him. I think we have heard enough about that already.
Remaining Schedule: @ Who the fuck cares?
I don’t even consider the Steelers competition anymore and I only included them on this list so I could say that. It has been amazing to watch this team collapse. Was that a frown Hines? Watching this team lose to the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns with the Ravens in between has been a whole lot of fun. Who loses to the Browns anyways? Don’t you know that Brady Quinn is their QB? Let’s enjoy this while we can, because it is unlikely the Steelers will stay down for long. But for now, shut the fuck up Pittsburgh! We are going to come into your city and put a dent in Roethlisberger’s gigantic forehead ending his career just as quickly as we started it (by taking out Tommy Maddox). That is, if he has to guts to face us this time.
Bohs and O’s readers when we are sitting through another lopsided victory (hopefully in better weather) this Sunday against the Bears keep an eye on that out of town scoreboard. Unfortunately we might have to root for some teams we hate such as Indy, Patriots, and Steelers, but that is the price we will have to pay to get our Ravens into the postseason after this frustrating regular season.