Despite loss Ravens a near lock to make playoffs

Written by Message Board 1st Stringer “Lobachevsky”

With the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers both losing yesterday, the Baltimore Ravens are one very-low-probability scenario away from clinching a postseason berth.

Presume the Ravens lose the rest of their regular season games. They limp in at 9-7, 4-2 AFCN, 8-4 AFC, 8-6 in common games with PGH.

The only other team not leading its division with less than 6 losses is the Colts. Presume they get the first wild card at 10-6 or better.

There are 3 other AFC teams currently with 7 losses or less: NYJ, CIN, PGH.

BAL would get the 2nd WC over NYJ on the strength of AFC record, since there’s no head-to-head & the Jests have 5 losses in the conference.

CIN plays PGH in Week 16. If PGH wins, CIN finishes 9-7 at best, 2-4 AFCN. If PGH finishes 10-6, it wins the AFCN outright; if PGH finishes at 9-7, then head-to-head results vs the other 2 teams gives PGH the AFCN (PGH 3-1, BAL 2-2, CIN 1-3), BAL eliminates CIN for the wild card based on overall head to head or on divisional record, then eliminates NYJ if necessary as above.

If CIN wins out (beats @PHA, @PGH & then BAL) it wins the AFCN at 10-6. Then PGH finishes 9-7 at best, 4-2 AFCN, 8-6 in common games with BAL (both went 1-1 in uncommon games), 5-7 AFC, and BAL eliminates PGH based on better conference record & eliminates NYJ if necessary as above.

If CIN loses @PHA but then wins out to finish 9-7, then BAL wins the AFCN if PGH loses again (@DAL or CLE) based on better division record (4-2 vs 3-3). If PGH also finishes 9-7, then head-to-head is a wash in the 3-way train wreck (all teams at 2-2) and BAL again wins the AFCN, this time on better division record (4-2 vs 3-3 for the others).

In fact there is precisely one way in which the Ravens can now be eliminated from the postseason:

  • IND finishes no worse than 10-6
  • CIN & PGH both win in Week 15 and Week 17; and
  • CIN@PGH (Week 16) ends in a tie

In this case both CIN & PGH finish 9-6-1, one wins the AFCN & the other gets the second WC.

So on the first weekend in January it is almost certain that the Ravens will host the Colts as the #4 seed, or travel to Denver or Foxboro as the #6 seed.

Whether you consider that a good or bad thing after the last 2 weeks probably depends on your capacity for generating irrational optimism &/or absorbing bitter heartbreak.

Written by Lobachevsky

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

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