The Ravens (7-2) are sitting pretty in the AFC North, leading their division with a sizable margin above the other three teams in it, all tied at 5-3. More impressively, however, is Baltimore's position in the NFL as a whole: tied for second only behind the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles.
Of course, this means that questions are starting to get asked concerning the final placing of those three (including the other 7-2 team, Kansas City) in the final NFL standings broadly, and the AFC in particular.
Dan Graziano of ESPN wrote his weekly "overreactions" piece for the media outlet, and one of the topics he tackled was if the Ravens "will be the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs." The verdict: not an overreaction.
"It won't be easy. And in fact, we'll be better equipped to answer this question 11 days from now, after the Ravens have played two key division games against the Browns and Bengals. If they win those two games -- at home against teams they've already beaten on the road -- they'll be firmly in command of the AFC North."- Dan Graziano, ESPN
"It won't be easy," warned Graziano for starters. After that, however, he went on to describe Baltimore's current position in the standings and how things will get much clearer in the next few days and weeks.
That's because the Ravens have a two-game homestand next as they will host AFC North foes from Cleveland and Cincinnati on back-to-back weeks starting this Sunday.
"If they win those two games -- at home against teams they've already beaten on the road -- they'll be firmly in command of the AFC North," Graziano wrote. If that's the case, and although the Ravens still have "not easy" (according to Graziano) matchups on the road against LAC, JAX, and SF, you can make a serious case for that No. 1 seed belonging to the Flock.
"Right now, taking into account both sides of the ball," Graziano wrote, "the Ravens are playing better football than anyone in the entire league."
As is always the case with the Ravens and their national coverage, the health of Lamar Jackson was brought to the narrative, with Graziano writing "As long as they can keep their quarterback healthy, there's no reason to expect that to stop anytime soon."
And as it's always the case, health is something you can't control. As long as that's the main point against the Ravens' case for finishing atop the AFC and making a Super Bowl run, rest assured I'll be cool with that.