The Baltimore Ravens (10–3) became the first and only AFC franchise to reach the 10-win mark this season after their victory over the Los Angeles Rams last weekend. Heading into Week 15 and following Miami's loss last MNF, it's in Baltimore's hands to stay where they're at.
The Dolphins, in fact, squandered a 14-point fourth-quarter lead against the lowly Tennessee Titans and ended up losing their matchup by one measly point, 28–27. That result put the Ravens as the frontrunners to win the AFC, boasting a 54% probability of securing the top spot, as calculated by The New York Times NFL playoff simulator.
According to Dallas Cowboys legend and current TV pundit Michael Irvin, the Ravens should be regarded as "the best team in the conference," full stop.
In a recent episode of Undisputed, Irvin expressed his thoughts about Baltimore, saying that a team of the Ravens' caliber shouldn't have to rely on special teams to secure a victory. That's exactly what happened last Sunday, of course, when Tylan Wallace (a backup special teams member) returned a punt in overtime to get Baltimore a walk-off win over the Rams.
Irvin also acknowledged the Miami Dolphins' performance even in defeat, cautioning against overlooking their chances at ending up atop the AFC conference.
On the other hand, Irvin thinks that the Kansas City Chiefs, despite their recent success under Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, are showing worrying signs that might hurt their chances at winning another chip come February.
The Ravens will play three division leaders before New Year (at Jacksonville, at San Francisco, vs. Miami) and then put an end to their regular-season schedule in an AFC North divisional matchup against the Steelers in Week 18 scheduled for the first weekend of January.
As long as Baltimore can match the results of their rivals--mostly the Dolphins--their future looks bright and points toward clinching the no. 1 AFC seed, thus earning a very-wanted bye week in the playoffs. Irvin knows.