How can the Ravens win the AFC and get a bye on Sunday?

Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs
Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs / Doug Pensinger/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens became the first team to reach 12 wins in 2023 following their 33-19 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Christmas night in Santa Clara a few days after clinching a postseason berth.

According to the New York Times model, the Ravens have a 73% of winning the AFC and enter the playoffs in possession of the No. 1 seed and thus under the benefit of getting a bye week, avoiding playing mid-January in the wild-card round.

When it comes to winning the AFC North, the model gives Baltimore a 97% chance. The remaining three percent is split between the Cleveland Browns (1%, currently 10-5 and playing on TNF), and the Steelers and Bengals (both 8-7 and with fewer than 1% odds of winning the division).

What do the Baltimore Ravens need to win the AFC?

Currently leading the AFC with a 12-3 record, the Ravens have a one-game advantage over the Miami Dolphins (11-4) and the San Francisco 49ers, athough the Flock would edge the latter on a head-to-head tiebreak following Monday's win.

The Dolphins will visit Baltimore to play football inside M&T Bank Stadium next Sunday in the matchup that will decide who goes on a bye in the postseason while clinching the AFC top seed for the 2023 playoffs.

For the Ravens to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC, they must defeat the Dolphins in their upcoming game unless they want to leave everything outside of their control entering the final week of play with all games scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 7.

If the Dolphins win at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens would need to beat the Steelers in their final game while hoping the Dolphins lose to the Buffalo Bills (9-6) in the season finale.

The Bills are currently on a three-game winning streak and they trail the Dolphins in the AFC East division. If the scenario described above develops, however, the Bills would play the final game without any possibility of overtaking Miami in the division.

What do the Baltimore Ravens need to win the AFC North?

To clinch the AFC North division, the Ravens need to win at least one of their final two games against either the Dolphins or the Steelers (8-7). However, the Joe Flacco-led Cleveland Browns (10-5), having won three consecutive games, are only two games behind the Ravens.

If the Ravens and the Browns end up tied in the standings, Cleveland would take the division title. Both the Steelers and Bengals are no longer in contention for the AFC North, with the Bengals having an 18% chance of making the playoffs and the Steelers at 13%, according to the New York Times.

The Browns' remaining schedule includes a game against the New York Jets (6-9) on TNF and an away game at the Cincinnati Bengals (8-7) in the regular-season finale on Jan. 7.

Next. Ravens kicker outscored San Francisco 49ers before garbage time. Ravens kicker outscored San Francisco 49ers before garbage time. dark

The Browns, despite their recent form, have only a 1% chance of securing a first-round bye with the race for the top seed primarily expected to feature the Ravens and the Dolphins following the loss of Kansas City against the Las Vegas Raiders last Monday.

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