Tyler Linderbaum Named One of AFC's Biggest Pro Bowl Snubs
The Ravens are well-represented on the AFC Pro Bowl roster with six players, but there are several others who are worthy that didn't make it.
Among them is rookie center Tyler Linderbaum, who was one of eight players who should have received the honor, according to NFL.com’s Eric Edholm.
The two centers who made the AFC Pro Bowl roster are the Chiefs' Creed Humphrey and Bills' Mitch Morse.
"Don't blame Linderbaum for the offense's struggles; the rookie has been playing excellent ball, especially of late," Edholm wrote.
Edholm took note of Linderbaum's performances against a couple of All-Pros this season.
"Turn on the Buccaneers tape from Week 8 for an example of what we're talking about. The first-rounder takes LB Devin White on about a 7-yard ride on one play," Edholm wrote. "Looking for something more recent? Check out the Pittsburgh game from two weeks ago, when the Steelers moved Cam Heyward over center quite a bit. Linderbaum more than held his own against the three-time All-Pro."
On a side note, one Raven who not only was snubbed from the Pro Bowl, but he also was snubbed from NFL.com's snubbed list is guard Kevin Zeitler. Despite Zeitler being the leader at his position in voting by fans, a Pro Bowl nod remains elusive for the 11-year veteran.
How Likely Is It That the Ravens Miss the Playoffs Again?
You've undoubtedly heard that it's highly likely the Ravens will make the playoffs. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Baltimore has a 99.4 percent chance of being one of the seven AFC playoff teams.
A contrarian would point to what happened to the Ravens last season, when they had a 91 percent chance of making the playoffs after Week 12 but then lost six straight and missed out on postseason play.
Like this time last season, Lamar Jackson is sidelined and his return date is unclear. However, the Ravens' overall health is significantly better. And even if the Ravens were to lose their final three games, they'd still have a good shot of getting into the playoffs.
It would take three straight losses by the Ravens, three straight wins from the Browns and a little more to miss the postseason for the second consecutive season, according to The Upshot.
"Having said that, would you blame Ravens fans for being nervous?" ESPN's Bill Barnwell wrote. "They were 8-3 a year ago and lost six straight to end the season amid an injury to Lamar Jackson. In 2017, needing to beat the 6-9 Bengals (or have the Bills or Titans lose) to clinch a spot, Joe Flacco and the Ravens blew a fourth-quarter lead and allowed Andy Dalton to throw a 49-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-12 with 44 seconds to go to miss the postseason."
With the Ravens' promising playoff prospects, Barnwell said it presents an interesting question to about how they will approach the final three games.
"If you're the Ravens, though, what do you do?" Barnwell wrote. "With the playoffs all but clinched, do you expand [J.K.] Dobbins' role, rush Jackson back into the mix and get everyone on board to try to win the North? Or do you try to get everyone healthy for the postseason, sneak a win over the final three weeks to clinch your spot and run the risk of facing the Bills or Chiefs in the first round? Given how dramatically they've collapsed in years past, I wonder if they'll be more aggressive than most."
Odds of Ravens Clinching Playoff Berth This Week Are Long
The Ravens could clinch a playoff berth as early as this week. ESPN’s Jamison Hensley examined the team's 10 playoff-clinching scenarios and the likelihood for each.
In short, the odds are not in the Ravens' favor as far as them celebrating Festivus on Christmas weekend.
Nine of the scenarios involve the Ravens either defeating or tying the visiting Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.
"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," Hensley wrote. "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."
There is one scenario in which the Ravens can clinch a playoff berth this week even if they lose to the Falcons.
"If the Ravens lose, there is still a 0.2% chance they clinch this week," Hensley wrote. "Baltimore would 'just' need: the Jets and Patriots to lose; the Browns, Titans and Raiders to lose or tie; and the Chargers to win."
- The Ravens' "And Football" 2022 season trailer video was recognized in Press Box’s Best of 2022 issue.