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Who Ravens Fans Should Root For In Week 16


The Ravens want to win the AFC North, and to do that, the path is simple.

They have to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Christmas and the Cincinnati Bengals the week after. No other games matter.

But Baltimore still has an avenue to the playoffs via the wild-card spot. And for that reason, Saturday's slate of football games (and the Sunday night game after Baltimore plays) could affect the Ravens.

Here's who Ravens fans should root for in Week 16:

Buffalo Bills (7-7) vs. Miami Dolphins (9-5)
Saturday, 1 p.m.
The Ravens are one game behind the Dolphins in the standings, but Baltimore holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. If Baltimore drops one of its final two games in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, the Ravens need the Dolphins to lose both of their final two games to get a wild-card berth. That starts this week, when Miami has a tough road game in Buffalo.

The Bills came up on the wrong side of a 28-25 loss to the Dolphins earlier this year, but Saturday's game will be played in Buffalo, where the Bills have beaten the Dolphins four straight times. Miami will turn to backup quarterback Matt Moore again in relief of injured Ryan Tannehill. Moore threw four touchdowns in his season debut. Head Coach Rex Ryan and the Bills are coming off a 33-14 win over the Browns.

Who to root for: Bills

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12) vs. Tennessee Titans (8-6)
Saturday, 1 p.m.
It's not a good spot to be in rooting for a two-win team, but the Ravens hope the Jaguars can knock off a playoff contender. The Titans and Texans are tied atop the AFC South at 8-6. The division winner will be decided when they face each other next week, but the losing team could be in play for a wild-card spot. The Ravens hope the Jags will play better after firing Head Coach Gus Bradley and naming Doug Marrone their interim head coach this week.

Who to root for: Jaguars* *

New England Patriots (12-2) vs. New York Jets (4-10)
Saturday, 1 p.m.
This is a longshot, but the goal is for the Patriots to have something to play for in Week 17, when they face Miami. The Patriots clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if they win and the Oakland Raiders lose. The Ravens want the Patriots starters in action next week against Miami. The Jets have lost five of their last six games, so it may be on the Raiders to keep things interesting in the chase for the AFC's No. 1 spot.

Who to root for: Jets

Oakland Raiders (11-3) vs. Indianapolis Colts (6-6)
Saturday, 4:05 p.m.
Again, the Ravens want the Patriots playing their starters next week. Thus, the Raiders need to keep putting pressure on New England. In order to do that, the Raiders must hold serve at home against the Colts, who are coming off a big 34-6 road win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Who to root for: Raiders

Houston Texans (8-6) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1)
Saturday, 4:25 p.m.
It's odd to root for a division rival, but the Texans are in the AFC South and wild-card hunt, along with the Titans. After blowing a big lead over the Steelers last week, the Bengals could to do the Ravens a favor this week by knocking Houston back a game. Watch to see if Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green returns, because the Bengals are waiting to play the Ravens in Week 17.

Who to root for:Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) vs. Denver Broncos (8-6)
Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
If the Ravens lose in the earlier game Sunday, their only path to the playoffs will be through the wild card. The Broncos are right in the thick of that chase, while the Chiefs are within a whisper of a playoff spot already. Root for Kansas City to deal the Broncos a third straight loss.

Who to root for: Chiefs

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