Who Ravens Fans Should Root for in Week 16


Even after beating the Indianapolis Colts yesterday, the Ravens still can't clinch a playoff spot today.

However, Baltimore will move into the sixth seed (now that the four common opponents tiebreaker has kicked in) and can get closer to clinching depending on a few game results.

The Ravens entered the week tied with the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills at 8-6 with a few other wild-card contenders in the mix.

Here's who you should root for over the next two days:

Los Angeles Rams (10-5) at Tennessee Titans (8-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
This is the game that could have the most impact on the Ravens' playoff chances. If the Titans lose their remaining two games, the Ravens are guaranteed to get in the playoffs even if they drop next week's game against Cincinnati and finish 9-7. Both contests will be tough for the Titans, as the Rams and next week's opponent, the Jacksonville Jaguars, both have 10-4 records and sit atop their divisions. Tennessee has lost back-to-back games on the road against the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.
Root for:Rams

Buffalo Bills (8-6) at New England Patriots (11-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Bills are one of the Ravens' top challengers for a playoff spot, but this game surprisingly doesn't hold a ton of weight. Buffalo's Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins will be more important than Sunday's game against the Patriots in terms of sorting out 9-7 tiebreakers. If the Bills lose to the Miami Dolphins next week, the Ravens would still get in at 9-7. Still, a loss for the Bills isn't a bad thing, and the Ravens would rather not have a chance of heading to New England for the wild-card round if the Patriots were to fall out of the AFC's top two spots.
Root for: Patriots

Los Angeles Chargers (7-7) at New York Jets (5-9)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Chargers are behind the eight ball now, but can still sneak into the playoffs if they win out. Root for the Jets to push them over the edge. The Chargers were one of the hottest teams in the NFL before dropping a huge game in Kansas City last week.
Root for: Jets

Miami Dolphins (6-8) at Kansas City Chiefs (8-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
After the Chiefs' win over the Los Angeles Chargers last week, they are in the driver's seat to win the AFC West. A win over Miami would collapse the Dolphins' slim playoff chances and lock the Chiefs into the No. 4 playoff seed. As of now, Kansas City looks like the most likely playoff destination for the Ravens. If the Chiefs lose, it creates more chaos and puts the Chargers back into the picture.
Root for: Chiefs

Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4) at San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
The Jaguars punched their first trip to the playoffs in a decade last week. Now they have their eye on a potential first-round bye. If the Steelers drop one of their final two games (at Houston, vs. Cleveland) and the Jaguars win out, Jacksonville would be one of the AFC's top two teams. Since the Ravens want Jacksonville to beat Miami in Week 17, Baltimore fans should root for the Jaguars this week to keep the hope alive and give them more to play for.
Root for: Jaguars

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) at Houston Texans (4-10)
Monday, 4:30 p.m.
This is a battle between the head and the heart. Ravens fans have bad memories from last Christmas when the Steelers knocked the Ravens out of the playoff hunt on Antonio Brown's "Immaculate Extension." Pittsburgh winning the AFC North by beating Baltimore in Week 13 this season didn't help either. So rooting against the Steelers not only scratches that itch, but feels natural. However, if the Steelers lose and fall out of a first-round bye, the Ravens could have a trip to Pittsburgh in the wild-card round if Baltimore gets the No. 6 seed. Would fans rather face the Jaguars or Steelers in the first round? If Brown (calf) can't play in the first round, that also complicates matters.
Root for: Toss up

Oakland Raiders (6-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (12-2)
Monday, 8:30 p.m.
The Raiders are technically still in the hunt, although their odds (along with the Dolphins') are very slim of getting in at 8-8. Oakland can't get in without Baltimore also making it (as odd as it sounds), so Ravens fans are safe to root for the Raiders. Also, a Raiders win keeps them alive and gives them more to fight for next week against the Chargers, who are a potential threat to the Ravens' chances.
Root for: Raiders

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