Who Ravens Fans Should Root for in Week 16

Left: QB Kyler Murray (Ryan Kang/NFL); Center: QB Aaron Rodgers Mikey Ownes/NFL); Right: QB Patrick Mahomes (Ben Liebenberg/NFL)

For the Ravens to win the AFC North crown, they almost surely need to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

For the Ravens to reach the playoffs, even as a wild-card team, they need to win two of their remaining three games and perhaps get a little help.

While the focus this weekend for Baltimore is locked on taking the divisional lead, it's worth monitoring the Ravens' other AFC playoff competition.

And here's who you should be rooting for in Week 16:

Cleveland Browns (7-7) at Green Bay Packers (11-3)
Saturday, 4:30 p.m., FOX/NFL Network/Amazon
The Browns are probably done if they lose one more game. Fresh off a nailbiter against the Ravens, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are in a fight for the top seed in the NFC and are certainly capable of knocking Cleveland out.
Root for: Packers

Indianapolis Colts (8-6) at Arizona Cardinals (10-4)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m., NFL Network
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals looked like the NFL's best team a couple weeks ago, but they've lost two straight and just fell to one of the worst teams in the league last week in Detroit. With MVP front-runner Jonathan Taylor leading the way, the Colts are one of the Ravens' top wild-card challengers and they have two softer opponents to end the season. If Baltimore is going to get in ahead of Indy, the Colts need to lose this game.
Root for: Cardinals

Buffalo Bills (8-6) at New England Patriots (9-5) *_Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS_
The Bills need this game to stay in the AFC East division race. The Patriots won the first round of this matchup a couple weeks ago in a strange wind-affected game in which rookie quarterback Mac Jones threw the ball just three times. Buffalo's final two games are against the struggling Falcons and Jets who are a combined 9-19. If they beat the Patriots, the AFC East will most likely have two playoff teams.
Root for:

Los Angeles Chargers (8-6) at Houston Texans (3-11) *_Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS _This may be one of the most lopsided games of the week with the Chargers offense clicking and the Texans struggling this year and currently dealing with one of the league's worst COVID outbreaks. The Chargers are another top challenger to the Ravens' playoff chances and every loss for them would be a boost to Baltimore, so pull for a shocking upset.
Root for:

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS
The Steelers are clinging to playoff hopes and now face the AFC's top team, winners of seven straight games. However, the Chiefs could be without star offensive pass catchers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, which could totally change this game. The Steelers defense could get after Patrick Mahomes if he's uneasy in the pocket. Seeing the Steelers get knocked out of playoff contention is always enjoyable.
Root for: Chiefs

Denver Broncos (7-7) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-7)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS
The Broncos and Raiders are in two very similar situations, both with playoff chances under 10%, according to ESPN's Power Football Index, and with challenging schedules remaining. Both teams need a win to keep their chances alive. The Raiders own a tiebreaker over the Ravens, so perhaps they could foul up tiebreaker situations for Baltimore, whereas the Ravens beat the Broncos. It probably doesn't matter either way.
Root for: Broncos

Miami Dolphins (7-7) at New Orleans Saints (7-7)
Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
The Dolphins have won six straight and are hanging onto playoff dreams. They would end if they were to fall in New Orleans. The Saints, however, are dealing with a COVID situation that has left them with a quarterback emergency. They could be down to their fourth stringer.
Root for: Saints

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