American Football

Ravens officially clinch playoff berth after Week 16 win, Patriots’ loss


Atlanta Falcons v Baltimore Ravens
Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Heading back to the big dance.

Following a 17-9 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16, combined with the Cincinnati Bengals winning their matchup in New England, the Baltimore Ravens have officially secured a ticket to the postseason. The Bengals sweated out a 22-18 victory following a late comeback effort from the Patriots.

The Ravens, now 10-5, sit one-game behind the Bengals in the division, who improved to 11-4. They still have a chance for the AFC North title, as the two teams will face off in the Week 18 regular season finale in Cincinnati. However, in-part thanks to their aforementioned rivals, the Ravens are guaranteed at least a wild card spot in the AFC bracket.

This will mark the team’s 10th playoff appearance since John Harbaugh took over as the head coach in 2008. It will also be their fourth postseason berth in the past five years, with last season’s tumultuous finish representing the lone outlier. Now 15 years in the Harbaugh era, the Ravens a playoff berth rate of 66.6%.

The remaining two weeks will determine whether the Ravens will be hosting a playoff game as a divisional winner or traveling on the road come Wild Card weekend. Their last playoff appearance in 2020 saw them travel to Tennessee, where they defeated the Titans for their first postseason win since 2014.

If they win out, they will surpass the Bengals in the division by virtue of tiebreaker. In that scenario, they would be the No. 3 seed behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. If they finish second in the division, the Ravens would occupy one of the three wild card seeds. They’d likely be No. 5 or No. 6 but the remaining AFC spots remain to be determined.

The Ravens will face the Pittsburgh Steelers at home next Sunday. The potential return of Lamar Jackson (knee) to the lineup, as well as Calais Campbell and Marcus Peters who both missed Week 16, loom large for Baltimore’s seeding hopes.

Nevertheless, for what’s been a bit of a rollercoaster 2022 season for the Ravens, for them to lock up a playoff spot with two weeks remaining is a nice achievement.

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