The road to the Super Bowl will go through Baltimore.
With a blowout 56-19 win over the Miami Dolphins Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens won the AFC North and clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC, earning a first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
It was the kind of game, paired with others in recent weeks, that made a clear statement about the team the Ravens have this year and the chance it has to reach its ultimate goal of bringing a Super Bowl back to Baltimore.
"I don't know if I've seen a more impressive performance in a game. I'm not sure I've seen a more impressive performance in a season to date," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Obviously, we have a lot more to do. We have a lot of work to do in front of us."
It's Baltimore's first division title and first-round playoff bye since 2019, when Baltimore went 14-2, Jackson was named the unanimous MVP and Harbaugh was Coach of the Year.
That season was cut short with a stunning divisional playoff exit, however. This time, Jackson and the Ravens are locked in on going further. Clobbering the Dolphins, who entered the game with the second-best record in the AFC, is a good indication that Baltimore is poised to do so.
"We've been an underdog all season, even [in the] offseason. We'd like to keep it that way and just keep that on our mindset," Jackson said. "We can't go out there thinking [that] since we're the favorites, teams are just going to bow down and play how we want them to play. We have to go take it, and that's what we do."
Jackson threw five touchdowns and posted a perfect passer rating for the third time in his career, all but locking up his second MVP award. The 56 points are the most the Ravens have ever scored at M&T Bank Stadium.
The team (including Harbaugh) celebrated the feat by dancing in the locker room and donning AFC championship T-shirts and hats.
The Ravens' championship snaps the Bengals' streak of back-to-back division titles. They were trying to become the first team in history to win the AFC North three-straight times.
"This is a tough division. It's one of the best divisions in football – if not the best," cornerback Arthur Maulet said. "We fought our butts off, and we got the results we wanted, but that's not enough. We're looking for bigger things."
The first-round bye will provide the Ravens the opportunity to get their roster healthy and make a deep playoff run. The Ravens were without safety Kyle Hamilton, guard Kevin Zeitler and cornerback Brandon Stephens on Sunday. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey was ruled out of the game in the first half with a calf injury.
"It's going to be valuable. There's no doubt about it," said Harbaugh, who didn't indicate how many starters will rest next week versus the Steelers in the regular-season finale.
"Our guys are going to keep working hard and preparing to be ready to play. They'll practice. They'll lift. They'll do all the things they have to do, but that extra week is going to be very valuable."