Ravens remain in sixth place in AFC playoff race

Larry French

Still maintain an advantage over Miami due to a head-to-head win earlier this season.

The Ravens remain the ones to chase for the final AFC Wild Card spot.

Avoiding what would have been a disastrous loss to Minnesota, the Ravens wound up winning 29-26 with a game-winning touchdown from Joe Flacco to Marlon Brown with four seconds left on the clock.

That kept the Ravens in sixth place in the playoff race, as the Dolphins kept pace with a win over the Steelers. Both the Ravens and Dolphins are 7-6, with the Ravens holding the tie-break advantage since they defeated Miami earlier this season.

The Dolphins have a tough game this coming week against the Patriots, though close their season out at Buffalo and at home against the Jets. The Ravens have a much tougher three-game stretch against the Lions (away), Patriots (home) and Bengals (away).

That said, these two teams aren't the only ones fighting for the final playoff spot. The Chargers and Jets are both 6-7 and looking to gain some ground in the final three weeks. With the way the AFC has been past the top five, you can't count Tennessee and Pittsburgh (both are 5-8) out either. After all, it's Week 15 and only the Texans have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

Teams that are 4-9 technically still have a shot.

The easiest solution for Baltimore to reach the postseason is to keep winning. Duh. Facing a Lions team that continues to find ways to lose despite its enormous talent on both sides of the ball is a good start. Getting a Patriots team without Rob Gronkowski benefits them too. The Ravens have already proven they can beat the Bengals, they just have to away from M&T Bank Stadium.

It's not out of the question that the Ravens can wind up taking the next three games and ride into the playoffs on a six-game winning streak. But there's no question it will be a tough task to do so.

Here's how the AFC looks entering Week 15:

1. Denver Broncos (11-2) — clinched playoff berth

2. New England Patriots (10-3)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)

4. Indianapolis Colts (8-5) — clinched AFC South

5. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)

6. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

--

7. Miami Dolphins (7-6)

8. San Diego Chargers (6-7)

9. New York Jets (6-7)

10. Tennessee Titans (5-8)

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)

12. Oakland Raiders (4-9)

13. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)

14. Cleveland Browns (4-9)

15. Buffalo Bills (4-9)

16. Houston Texans (2-11)


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