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Ravens chances of making the playoffs

Slim, but not impossible...

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens come out of their bye week this weekend with a 1:00 PM matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the two teams stand with identical 2-6 records. The Ravens have fallen short of the lofty expectations the team, fans and media had for them, but the Jaguars are right where most expected them to be. And they are team that has shown growth, especially in the passing game with Blake Bortles and Allen's Robinson and Hurns taking the next step.

The Ravens are currently much closer to a top 5 pick than to the playoffs, but the playoffs are still not an impossibility. Per numberfire, he Ravens sit at 0.60% odds of making the playoffs. However, they are actually only 2 and 1/2 games out of the final wild card spot, which is held by the Steelers at 5-4. Between the Steelers and Ravens sit 5 teams: the 4-4 Raiders and Bills, 3-5 Chiefs, Dolphins, and Texans, and the Ravens are tied with another 6 teams at the bottom of the standings. The Ravens still have matchups against the Chiefs, Dolphins, and Steelers, with KC and Pittsburgh both home games. Those are all eminently winnable games if the Ravens were able to fix enough of their flaws over the bye week.

A 10-6 record would likely lock them into a spot, but that would require them to run the table. A more realistic, albeit still difficult result would be to go 7-1 the rest of the way. Playing Cincinnati in the finale looks to be an advantage, as they are the toughest game left on the schedule but may have a bye locked up beforehand, assuming they can defeat the Broncos on the road in week 16.

The Ravens schedule going forward does present an enticing menu. Per Jamison Hensley last week:

The Ravens' second-half opponents have a combined 25-31 record (.446). Only two of those teams currently have winning records (St. Louis and Cincinnati). And the Ravens play five of their final eight games at M&T Bank Stadium, where they have the NFL's third-best home record since 2008.

Not convinced yet? The five teams (Jacksonville, St. Louis, Seattle, Kansas City and Pittsburgh) that have to play in Baltimore are 6-13 (.315) on the road this season. Two of the Ravens' road trips (Miami and Cleveland) are against teams that are 2-5 (.285) at home.

So is it likely? Of course not. But is it possible if the team has fixed some of the issues that plagued it in the first half of the season? Of course! Forcing turnovers will be a big key for the rest of the season, and losing all those close games is likely to regress to the mean, which should mean more wins.

Maybe 2 months from now the Ravens player will be sitting at home, but hopefully they will be able to look back and say they gave it their best shot!