The Ravens won at Pittsburgh last night, ending the Ravens early season funk. The win saves the Ravems from 0-4, and gives the Ravens something to be happy about as they go into a mini-bye before a home game against the Browns. With many people expecting the Ravens to be out of the mix of things, we're here to debunk that.
For the Ravens to win the division:
The best option is to win out, which is an extremely difficult proposition. They could still do it at 12-4 and they might be able to pull it off at 11-5 (but odds are that they'd need some outside help).
For the Ravens to get a wild-card ( the likelier option):
a 10-2 finish would get the job done and a 9-3 finish might be good enough, but they also might need some help. You should root against the Raiders, Steelers, Jets, and Bills, as those teams stand in between the Ravens and the postseason.
The Ravens also need to build off of the defensive momentum from this game. The Steelers offense was only able to score two touchdowns, the Ravens defense was able to get off the field on third down, Antonio Brown was held in check with only five receptions for 42 yards and no touchdowns, and the pass rush was able to get to the quarterback. That was a good game from the defense and it will help the Ravens cause greatly if they keep it up.
The Ravens also need to build off of their rushing success. Justin Forsett ran for 150 yards off of 27 carries, which is 26 yards than he's had in the first three weeks combined. If he can keep that up this offense will get better, even more so when Steve Smith, Crockett Gillmore, Eugene Monroe, and Breshad Perriman get back (whenever that is for the latter two).
The Ravens also have some help from the schedule makers. They have 10 days to heal and rest up before a home game against the Cleveland Browns and then a game against a weak 49ers team. After what appears to be a difficult match-up against the Cardinals, the Ravens return to Baltimore to play a struggling Chargers team. The Ravens can salvage the first half of this season and go into the bye with a 4-4 record.
The Ravens have an uphill battle to the playoffs, as they tend to have had in recent years. The only difference is that it's a steeper climb than usual. This is the greatest challenge that John Harbaugh's Ravens have ever faced and the Ravens would be in legendary company if they succeed.