You know something is brewing in Baltimore's kitchen when the Ravens announced on Wednesday that the tickets for the wild-card round will go on sale next Friday, Dec. 15, even though they have not secured a postseason berth yet. That's what we call a flex, uh, oh.
Currently, the Ravens are leading the AFC with a 10–3 record, positioning them as the No. 1 seed in the conference. They haven't officially clinched the playoffs, that's a fact, but virtually and realistically they are a lock to do so with just four games to go and a >99% chance of getting there per the New York Times model.
If the Ravens hold onto the top seed through the regular season, they will become the only team in the conference to earn a bye week. Dropping to the wild-card matchup is possible, but not that probable to happen.
In the case the Ravens make it to the postseason without having to play the WC game, the tickets sold for that round will be reimbursed and those buying them will get priority in buying those for the next game in the Ravens postseason schedule.
For now, Baltimore is set to face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who currently have an 8–5 record after their recent overtime loss to the Bengals last Monday. This matchup could very well repeat itself in the playoffs as both franchises are leading their respective AFC divisions.
How can the Baltimore Ravens clinch a playoff berth in Week 15?
The Ravens can clinch a playoff berth through various scenarios involving wins and losses by several teams during the games scheduled for next Sunday and Monday.
Most importantly, these are the scenarios to consider that would allow the Ravens to enter Week 16 knowing they will play football come mid-January.
- BAL win + DEN loss or tie + BUF loss or tie
- BAL win + DEN loss or tie + CLE loss or tie
- BAL win + DEN loss or tie + PIT loss or tie
- BAL win + DEN loss or tie + HOU loss or tie
- BAL win + BUF loss or tie + CLE loss or tie
- BAL win + BUF loss or tie + PIT loss or tie
- BAL win + BUF loss or tie + HOU loss or tie
- BAL win + CLE loss or tie + PIT-IND tie
- BAL win + HOU loss or tie + PIT-IND tie
It's worth noting that Baltimore has not hosted a playoff game since 2019. Back then, the Ravens ended the regular season as the AFC No. 1 seed but they were defeated by the Tennessee Titans in a true upset.
Last year, the Ravens played their opening playoff game in Cincinnati, where they lost 24–17, and in the 2020 postseason, the Ravens played two playoff games on the road beating the Titans but ultimately falling to the Bills.