A look at the Ravens playoff scenarios entering Week 17

John Harbaugh, Ravens (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
John Harbaugh, Ravens (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

As crazy of a season as it’s been, the Baltimore Ravens still find themselves with a possible playoff appearance. They don’t control their own fate, but there are still many possibilities where the Ravens could end up as high as a four seed, with a division title.

If the Ravens lose against the Los Angeles Rams, it is still possible, but they would need a lot of help from some other teams.

If this were the case, Baltimore would need to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 18, the Los Angeles Chargers to go 1-1 over Weeks 17 and 18, and the Miami Dolphins to lose out.

The most likely case for Baltimore to make the playoffs would be to finish with the same record as the Chargers while the Dolphins lose out. This is a very possible scenario as Miami plays the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots.

If Miami were to lose out, Baltimore would then just need to match the Chargers record to make the last wild card spot (both currently 8-7), since the Ravens own the tiebreaker.

Another possible, but unlikely, scenario for the Ravens to make a seven seed would be:

  • Baltimore wins out
  • Tennessee loses to Miami in Week 17
  • New England beats Miami in Week 18

The Ravens still have a chance to win the AFC North

Even with the worst division record since 2007, the Ravens somehow still have a chance to win the AFC North. It isn’t likely, but after this season nothing would shock me.

The Cincinnati Bengals don’t have it easy as they play the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns the next two weeks. If the Ravens win out while Cincinnati loses both games, Baltimore will win the division and obtain a four seed in the playoffs.

Winning out for the Ravens is a very optimistic assumption as they also have two difficult games remaining with the Rams and Steelers. As if those weren’t challenging enough, there is still question as to whether or not Lamar Jackson can play.

According to the ESPN Power Football Index, the Ravens have a 30 percent chance of making the playoffs. This puts them at the seventh-best odds in the AFC (not including Kansas City who already clinched).

According to the New York Times, the Ravens have a 28 percent chance to make the playoffs. With a Ravens loss in Week 17 and a win in Week 18, their chances go down to 14 percent. Winning out gives them a 91 percent chance to make it, and a 36 percent chance of hosting a wild card game.

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If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s to never count the Ravens out. It’s only right that a season with multiple comeback wins and 10 games decided by one possession will come down to the very last game.