Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) reacts after kicking a field goal against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Baltimore Ravens: Looking at the AFC Standings and Playoffs Picture

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The good news: If the season ended today, the Baltimore Ravens would be in the playoffs. The bad news: The season doesn’t end today.

But things sure look a lot better for the Ravens than they did just two weeks ago when the record stood at 4-6 after that strange and painful loss in Chicago. Now tied with Miami for the sixth-best record in the AFC at 6-6, the Ravens would get the tie-breaker based upon their victory over the Dolphins 26-23 on October 6th.

Hanging by a thread but not yet dead (see what I did there?) are the Titans, Steelers, Chargers, and Jets, all at 5-7 on the season. Tennessee is in the best position of these four, having beaten the other three in head-to-head competition.

All of this is less complicated than a week ago. But honestly, it is not complicated at all in the sense that Baltimore simply needs to keep winning. The good news: Nothing can prevent them from the playoffs if they win the remainder of their games. The bad news: After Minnesota this week, the Ravens have the Lions, Patriots, and Bengals to play … with only the Patriots at home. The truthful news: If you want to be the top dog at the end of the day, you have to beat everyone else sooner or later … so why not sooner?  Just do it.

As Coach Harbaugh says, “That fact of the matter is, what matters is us. We just have to win. If we win games, things are going to work out for us. If we don’t, things are going to be tough. We have to take care of ourselves.”

Another Take from the Standings

The Ravens have mirrored records for home and road games – 5-1 at M&T Bank Stadium and 1-5 when away. This is the greatest disparity in the NFL. The team with the next greatest differential is the Minnesota Vikings – coming to town this week. They are winless on the road at 0-5-1, while splitting six home games.

Team

W

L

T

PCT

HOME

ROAD

DIV

CONF

PF

PA

DIFF

Baltimore

6

6

0

.500

5-1-0

1-5-0

3-2-0

6-4-0

249

235

+14

Minnesota

3

8

1

.292

3-3-0

0-5-1

1-3-1

2-7-1

289

366

-77

Also interesting in the chart above is the differential in points for and points against. A total spread for the Ravens of only 14 over a period of 12 games is not much, especially when considering that 16 positive points came in one game – the 19-3 victory over the Jets. However, this differential is not really that near to being the closest in the NFL. Six others have narrower margins, and it is not surprising to therefore see their winning percentages all close to .500 …

Team

W

L

T

PF

PA

DIFF

St. Louis

5

7

0

279

278

+1

San Diego

5

7

0

279

277

+2

Tennessee

5

7

0

264

267

-3

Miami

6

6

0

252

248

+4

Chicago

6

6

0

323

332

-9

Green Bay

5

6

1

294

305

-11

However, another note from these same statistics is that the Ravens’ total points of 249/235 are both far lower than these other six teams listed above, which I believe would indicate a more managed level of play (no blowouts). Only Miami is close at 252/248. With the Ravens seeing Jacoby Jones returning to form and the hopeful soon return of Dennis Pitta, these numbers would seem to bode well for a good final quarter of the season.

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Tags: AFC Playoff Picture Baltimore Ravens

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