Who Ravens Fans Should Root for in Week 12


Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5)
_Sunday, 1 p.m. _It's the first installment of the "Battle of Ohio," as the two AFC North teams will face each other twice in the next five weeks. The Browns' most recent game was a big 28-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons and they're now coming off the bye, so they should be rested, healthy and have momentum. The Bengals, meanwhile, have dropped two straight and just got run over by the Ravens. They're clinging to their playoff hopes at 5-5, just like Baltimore.
Root for: Browns

New England Patriots (7-3) at New York Jets (3-7)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
This one doesn't matter much for the Ravens' chances, but the Jets are most likely out of it and the Patriots haven't punched their ticket yet. New England was blown out by Tennessee in their last game heading into a bye. Still, it's hard to see them not winning the AFC East. Ravens fans should have their eyes on that Week 17 Steelers-Bengals game. It's best to have Pittsburgh fighting for something in that game (like a bye or home-field advantage) and the Patriots may be in that conversation.
Root for: Whomever

Arizona Cardinals (2-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-3)
_Sunday, 4:05 p.m. _The Chargers were upset by the Broncos last week, leaving them a little more susceptible in the wild-card race. They're also still in the hunt for the AFC West division crown. The Cardinals are tied for the worst record in the NFL and just lost to the previously one-win Raiders. It would be a huge upset for Arizona, but with running back David Johnson getting hot, anything can happen.
Root for: Cardinals

Miami Dolphins (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
The way the Colts are playing right now with four straight victories, it's not far-fetched that they could get to 10 wins. That would put a lot of pressure on the Ravens in the wild-card hunt. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have lost three of four and still have the Patriots and a trip to Minnesota on the schedule. They're not as much of a threat to Baltimore, it seems. With quarterback Ryan Tannehill returning from injury after missing the past five weeks, the Dolphins do have reason for optimism.
Root for: Dolphins

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1) at Denver Broncos (4-6)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
The Steelers nearly fell in Jacksonville last week. If they were to lose this week and the Ravens win, Baltimore would only be one game back in the win column and the AFC North crown would suddenly be competitive again. The Broncos rallied to beat the Chargers but are still a game back in a crowded wild-card pack and thus not a big threat yet.
Root for: Broncos

Tennessee Titans (5-5) vs. Houston Texans (7-3)
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Somebody has to win the AFC South, and it's best for the Ravens if the Texans run away with it and knock all their divisional contenders in the wild-card chase (Titans, Colts) back. The Titans just got blown out by the Colts and the Texans squeaked by the Redskins, extending their winning streak to seven games (second-longest in the NFL behind the Saints). If Tennessee drops a second-straight game, it will be tough for their playoff chances.
Root for: Texans

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