Sunday provided a mixed bag for the Baltimore Ravens playoff hopes. The Denver Broncos and the Buffalo Bills took massive steps backwards in the hunt for an AFC Wild Card berth. However, the Ravens other main competition for a wild card spot, the Miami Dolphins, were able to pull out a late win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Dolphins win was bittersweet however as their quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, went down with an ACL injury, likely keeping him out for the remainder of the year, an injury that largely helped the Ravens playoff chances.
Even with a difficult schedule down the stretch, the Dolphins currently sit as the Ravens top opponent for the sixth and final AFC playoff spot. The injury comes at a poor time for the Dolphins, as its remaining schedule is the following @Jets, @Bills and vs. Patriots. Even with Tannehill, the Dolphins could struggle down the stretch, but with Matt Moore at the helm, 0-3 is not outside the realm of possibility. Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi is just not capable of carrying his team through that stretch.
Even if the Dolphins go 1-2 to close out the year, they will sit at 9-7, a record that will very likely be worse than the Ravens. Keep in mind, the Ravens hold the head to head tiebreaker.
The Bills are currently 6-7 and will need a miracle to overcome the teams in front of them. The Broncos hold an 8-5 record, but face arguably the toughest stretch any team has to close the year, with games against the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders.
With the Bills, Broncos and now the Dolphins facing a massive uphill climb, the Ravens now sit in the driver's seat for making the playoffs. If the Ravens are not able to win the AFC North, the path to a wild card berth just became much simpler for Baltimore.