OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson hasn’t returned to practice this week from a knee injury like many expected. Starting wide receiver Devin Duvernay limped off the practice field Tuesday with a significant right foot injury that landed him on IR. And Ravens players have had to publicly defend heavily criticized offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
While it’s been a rough week with all of the commotion in Baltimore, the Ravens could have a reason to celebrate by the end of the weekend. They are one of four teams that can clinch a playoff berth in Week 16.
“Everything that we can do is still ahead of us,” Ravens tight end Mark Andrews said. “There’s no like, ‘Poor me.’ There’s none of that in this building; that’s all outside noise. We’re fired up [and] we’re going to be ready to go.”
Like with many things for Baltimore these days, even the Ravens’ path to the postseason is complicated. There are 10 different scenarios for Baltimore (9-5) to punch its ticket to the playoffs this week with the probability of them happening ranging from 13% to 0.5%. There are ways for the Ravens to clinch whether they win, lose or tie against the Atlanta Falcons (5-9) on Saturday (1 p.m. ET, Fox).
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Here is the most straightforward explanation: Baltimore can qualify for the postseason with a win over Atlanta and a combination of two losses from these three AFC East teams: the Jets, Dolphins and Patriots.
The most viable scenario, at 13% (according to ESPN’s Football Power Index), is this: The Ravens beat the Falcons, the Jets lose at home to the Jaguars and the Patriots lose at home to the Bengals. Baltimore is a 7.5-point favorite to win, and New England is a 3.5-point underdog. The line for the New York Jets-Jacksonville game is even.
The long-shot scenario, at .05%, is ties for the Ravens, Patriots and Jets along with a Dolphins loss and a Chargers win.
If the Ravens lose, there is still a 0.2% chance they clinch this week. Baltimore would “just” need: the Jets and Patriots to lose; the Browns, Titans and Raiders to lose or tie; and the Chargers to win.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh has mentioned to his players that the team can secure a playoff berth this week. He did not get into the scenarios, which involve seven of the 16 games being played.
“The only one thing that we know is that we need to win,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what we need to be responsible for doing, and that means we have to go out and play our best football. That’s what we need to think about on Saturday.”
Even if the Ravens fail to qualify for the postseason this week, it will likely come at some point over the remaining two weeks of the regular season. Baltimore’s chances of reaching the playoffs are at 99.3%, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.
The Ravens can also capture their first AFC North title since 2019 if they win their final three games (home against the Falcons and Steelers and then at the Bengals).
“My mindset is to just win this game against the Falcons,” Ravens offensive tackle Morgan Moses. “If we win the rest of our games, who cares about scenarios?”
Here are all 10 of the scenarios:
1. BAL win + MIA loss or tie + NE loss or tie OR
2. BAL win + MIA loss or tie + NYJ loss or tie OR
3. BAL win + NE loss or tie + NYJ loss or tie OR
4. BAL tie + NE loss + NYJ loss OR
5. BAL tie + NE loss + MIA loss + LAC win OR
6. BAL tie + NE loss + MIA loss + NYJ tie OR
7. BAL tie + NE loss + NYJ tie + LAC win OR
8. BAL tie + NE tie + NYJ loss + MIA loss OR
9. BAL tie + NE tie + NYJ tie + MIA loss + LAC win OR
10. NE loss + NYJ loss + CLE loss or tie + LV loss or tie + TEN loss or tie + LAC win