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Who Ravens Fans Should Root for in Week 16


The Ravens don't need any help this weekend to achieve their goal of securing the top seed in the AFC, a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Beat the Browns Sunday in Cleveland, and Baltimore has crossed off another huge goal and, once again, set franchise history.

But if the Ravens don't win, Sunday's other results carry more weight. Even if Baltimore does win, their opponent in the first round of the playoffs could be impacted.

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

Buffalo Bills (10-4) at New England Patriots (11-3)
Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
The Ravens would secure a first-round bye before Sunday's kickoff if the Patriots lose Saturday evening. That would lock Baltimore into one of the top two spots. The Bills could still win the AFC East, which would force the Patriots into a Wild-Card playoff game for the first time since 2009, when the Ravens beat them, 33-14, in Foxborough.
Root for: Bills

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) at New York Jets (5-9)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Steelers may need to win both of their final two games to get into the playoffs. A victory against the Jets would set up a Week 17 matchup in Baltimore, with the Ravens potentially having nothing to play for and the Steelers have everything to play for. The Steelers' offense is struggling, but their defense is one of the best in the league, and they did take Baltimore to overtime in Week 5 (forever ago, but still …). Seeing the AFC North rivals fall short of the playoffs would add more pleasure to the season.
Root for: Jets

Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) at Chicago Bears (7-7) *_Sunday, 8:20 p.m._If the Ravens lose in Cleveland earlier in the day, a Chiefs loss would still give Baltimore a first-round bye (if it wasn't locked up on Saturday). If the Ravens win in Cleveland, this game would be about who gets the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Who would you rather see get a first-round bye, the Patriots or Chiefs? It should depend on whoever is more of a threat to the Ravens' chances of reaching the Super Bowl. Give the more threatening team a longer path. Pundits believe the Chiefs would be a tougher opponent, as they did beat Baltimore in Week 3 whereas the Ravens blew out the Patriots in Week 9. Root for:* Bears

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