Who Ravens Fans Should Root for in Week 8

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Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Chargers October 17, 2021

Right now, the Ravens are enjoying their bye at 5-2, tied for the best mark in the AFC as Sunday's games kick off.

If last Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals taught Ravens fans anything, it's that this is going to be another tight AFC playoff race.

Here's who Ravens fans should be rooting for this week to improve Baltimore's playoff chances:

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (4-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
This is a tough one to call in a matchup of two of the Ravens' rivals. It really depends on which team will be stronger over the long haul. If you believe the Browns are going to eventually get healthy and live up to their preseason billing as one of the NFL's top teams, then root for the Steelers to kick them again while they're down. If you think the Steelers could get on a roll if they win a third straight game, then pull for the Browns. Personally, I still think the Browns are a bigger threat to the Ravens' playoff hopes. It's still TBD on whether Baker Mayfield (shoulder) will play in this game.
Root for: Steelers

Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) at New York Jets (1-5) *_Sunday, 1 p.m._This is probably a longshot, but any given Sunday, right? The Bengals are riding high off their win over the Ravens and all the talk in Cincy this week is about not letting down against a subpar team. The Jets pulled off a win over the Tennessee Titans a few weeks ago, so they're capable of biting someone. However, their rookie starter, Zach Wilson, was injured last game, meaning veteran Mike White will step in at quarterback. The Bengals could be in for a feast, but Ravens fans should hope for an upset that puts Baltimore back in first place without getting off the couch.Root for:* Jets

Tennessee Titans (5-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The AFC South is not the strongest division this year with the Jaguars and Texans each having just one win. The Colts are the Titans' chief threat in the division and they could reinsert themselves into the playoff picture with a win this week. It would be better for the Ravens for the Colts to fade and let the surging Titans, who are fresh off a blowout win over the Kansas City Chiefs, run away with the division. For potential Wild-Card reasons, the Ravens only want to see one playoff team come out of the South.
Root for: Titans

New England Patriots (3-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
The Patriots are coming off a blowout victory against the Jets and rookie quarterback Mac Jones is playing good football. The Chargers are coming off their bye hungry for a win after getting shellacked by the Ravens in Week 6. This is a tough call. If the Patriots aren't strong enough to ultimately be in the playoff picture by season's end, then an upset of the Chargers would be good because Los Angeles almost certainly will be in contention. However, it's always good to see fringe teams (like the Patriots and Colts) stumble out of the mix. In a crowded AFC West, perhaps the Chargers could slip with a second straight loss.
Root for: Patriots

Washington Football Team (2-5) at Denver Broncos (3-4)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
The Broncos have dropped four straight games, starting with the Ravens' convincing 23-7 victory at Mile High. Another loss to struggling Washington might set off alarm bells in Denver.
Root for: Washington

New York Giants (2-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
The most surprising team in the NFL may be the Chiefs, who sit tied for last place in their division after going to last year's Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes has a league-high nine interceptions and is coming off one of the worst games of his career. The reeling and banged-up Giants seem like just the thing the Chiefs need to try to get back on track. However, could Daniel Jones and Co. pull off a stunning upset?
Root for: Giants

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