Who Ravens Fans Should Root for in Week 18


In the words of Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale, the Ravens will have to hit a three-game parlay to make it to the playoffs (plus beat the Steelers).

Baltimore has a sub-5% chance of making it to the postseason, but if the Ravens are going to do it, there are three games you need to be paying attention to:

Indianapolis Colts (9-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS
This would be a major upset. The Colts have been one of the league's best teams over the second half of the season. The Jaguars have the worst record in the NFL. However, the Jaguars did keep their first meeting close, and the Colts have not won in Jacksonville since 2016. In a strange year around the NFL, the Ravens need one more shocker (at least).
Root for: Jaguars

New England Patriots (10-6) at Miami Dolphins (8-8)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS
The Patriots have incentive in this one because a win and Bills loss would make them the AFC East champions. The Dolphins were eliminated from playoff contention with a lopsided loss last week to the Titans, which snapped their seven-game win streak. The Patriots need to beat (or tie) the Dolphins to help the Ravens' tiebreaker outcomes.
Root for: Patriots

Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) at Las Vegas Raiders (9-7)
_Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC _If the Ravens get the outcomes they want in the first game, this one will be extremely interesting to watch. The Raiders are in the playoffs with a Jaguars win, so they would have no incentive to play their starters in the evening game. If the game were to end in a tie, both the Chargers and Raiders are both in the postseason. Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said he won’t consider playing for a tie. Regardless, the Ravens would need the Raiders to win.
Root for: Raiders

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) at Cleveland Browns (7-9) *_Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX_
This has nothing to do with the Ravens' playoff chances, but if the Ravens lose to the Steelers and the Browns beat the Bengals, the Ravens would finish in last place in the AFC North. The Browns and Ravens would both be 8-9, but Cleveland would have a better division record. Finishing last in the AFC North would obviously sting. However, fourth rather than third in the final division standings means an "easier" schedule next year and higher draft picks. With the division locked up and no chance at a first-round bye, the Bengals are resting quarterback Joe Burrow and other starters.
Root for:

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