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Baltimore Ravens Path to the Playoffs After Week 15 Loss

The Baltimore Ravens playoffs hopes took a hit after losing their Week 15 matchup to Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns.
Ravens Playoffs

After dropping two of their past four games, the Baltimore Ravens path to the playoffs is suddenly in jeopardy. Saturday’s 13-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns dropped the Ravens to 9-5 on the season and made it considerably harder for the team to win the division. With multiple teams currently sitting at 7-6 entering Sunday’s games, do the Ravens have to worry about possibly missing the playoffs altogether?

Are the Ravens Playoffs Hopes In Jeopardy After Week 15 Loss?

The AFC North Race

Unfortunately, Saturday’s loss to the Browns effectively confirmed the Bengals will win the AFC North. As discussed in the article, the Bengals have the better talent right now, but faced a much harder schedule. Cincinnati has to play the Buccaneers, Patriots, and Bills prior to Week 18’s showdown with the Ravens, while Baltimore had a much easier schedule with matchups against the Browns, Falcons, and Steelers. If the Ravens could’ve earned one more win than the Bengals over this stretch, then they’d have a decent chance of winning the division.

Unfortunately, that feels close to impossible now. While the Bengals will struggle to win their Week 17 matchup against the Bills, they should take care of business against a woefully coached Buccaneers team and a mediocre Patriots unit. The Ravens won their matchup against the Bengals earlier in the season, so they would win the division if they beat Cincinnati in Week 18 and finish with identical records, but you don’t want to bet on that. Even with Jackson (presumably) healthy by of the end of the season, the Bengals are still a better team.

The Wild Card Picture

With the AFC North title all but out of reach, the Ravens will have to make the playoffs as a Wild Card team. If the season ended today, the Ravens would hold the five seed and face off against the Tennessee Titans. This is easily a best-case scenario for Baltimore, as the Titans are clearly the worst of the division-winning teams. Baltimore should do everything in their power to hold on to the five seed, and the good news is that Week 15’s results are already helping them achieve that goal.

The 8-6 Miami Dolphins currently hold the sixth seed after losing Saturday night’s thriller against the Buffalo Bills. This gives the Ravens a one-game lead on the Wild Card entering Sunday. The New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, and New York Jets all have 7-6 records entering Sunday, and the odds of all three teams losing are very slim. Chances are, one team will come within one game of the Ravens, but nobody can overtake them.

While they certainly have the inside path to the playoffs, this logjam of 7-6 teams means the Ravens could miss the playoffs altogether if they slip down the stretch. There are five teams seriously contending for a Wild Card spot, and only three spots are available. While Baltimore’s easy finishing schedule certainly increases their odds of making it, their recent play is worrisome. After all, there is no such thing as an assumed win for a team that just lost to the Cleveland Browns and barely beat the Denver Broncos.

Hopefully, Lamar Jackson can return to the field and guide the team to the playoffs. However, if Jackson has to sit out a few more weeks, or looks rusty in his return, the Ravens could be in trouble.


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