USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens need to win this game much more than the Broncos do, although Denver fans might tell you otherwise. They're wrong. The Broncos fans, that is.
The Denver Broncos have already clinched the AFC West and are currently sitting at the #3 playoff seed. A win today and Denver will remain in the #3 slot, unless the New England Patriots lose to the San Francisco 49ers later this evening on Sunday Night Football. That would vault Denver over the Patriots into the #2 slot and drop New England to #3.
That would still leave the Baltimore Ravens in limbo, fighting for their playoff lives, much less a division title and a home game. If the Ravens lose today, they will be only a game ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals, after leading the AFC North by three games only two weeks ago. The Pittsburgh Steelers have to beat the Dallas Cowboys this afternoon in order to keep pace with the Bengals.
While a Ravens loss will tighten up the division race, a loss by either the Bengals or Steelers would give Baltimore a playoff berth, but not necessarily the division title. The way the Ravens have been playing, a Wild Card spot would mean a road game, which at this point in their performances recently, would not be a good thing.
Neither would a third straight loss today, especially after losing their previous two games. A three-game losing streak at this point of the season could render the playoff debate meaningless, since even if they do back into the post season, it would appear they would fall into the category of "one-and-done."
Therefore, the Ravens need this game more than the Broncos and need to play that way from the opening kickoff until the final whistle. Pull out all the stops on offense, throwing the ball and then ramming the ball down the Broncos throats. Denver has never beaten the Baltimore Ravens here and they will need to play like a group of desperate, angry and wounded warriors in order to pull off what would be considered a home upset.
They can do it and need to do it. It would be a great statement to the rest of the league that the Ravens are far from done and will be a force to reckon with once they reach the post season, where they have won at least one game each year since both Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and head coach John Harbaugh all came together.
Take care of business today.