The Baltimore Ravens' win over the Dolphins earned the franchise the AFC North and AFC Conference titles and No. 1 seeds, setting the stage for a very calm approach to their remaining regular-season game next Saturday and the two weeks off they will have after that, giving the Flock time to rest players and manage injury rehabbing.
There will be critical decisions made by head coach John Harbaugh and the rest of the staff, mind you, because everybody will love to be rested and healthy come mid-January... but what about the team chemistry and the ongoing momentum?
Between now and Jan. 21, when the Ravens are scheduled to finally play their first postseason game, there are three weeks but just one game (with no impact on Baltimore's season) on the team's schedule.
By winning the AFC, the Ravens have earned a much-needed first-round bye that will surely provide a welcomed extra time for injured players to heal, including both those halfway there (Marlon Humphrey and Kyle Hamilton, to name two) and others currently on Injured Reserve, such as tight end Mark Andrews.
On top of that, the AFC side of the postseason bracket now runs through Baltimore. Whoever wants to win the Super Bowl next February (as if they stood a chance against the Ravens...) will need to conquer M&T Bank Stadium at some point (if/while the Ravens are still in contention).
By extension, the Ravens also finished the hopes for a No. 1 seed in the AFC North by the Cleveland Browns, while also putting the Dolphins' divisional title in peril with a matchup against the Bills next weekend.
The last time the Ravens enjoyed a home-field advantage in the postseason, however, things weren't quite rosy for the Flock. The Ravens clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2019 but then went on to show some rust in their postseason debut, ultimately falling to the visiting Tennessee Titans when they faced the underdogs at home in January of 2020.
Nobody is going to complain about enjoying (to an extent) a bonus week of rest, but the franchise better have learned about the impact that had in their Super Bowl run last time out.