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Every scenario in which the Ravens could make the playoffs

Every scenario in which the Ravens could make the playoffs

The Baltimore Ravens are sitting at 8-6 on the 2016 season and currently trail Pittsburgh by a game in the AFC North division. 

However, the Ravens have one significant playoff element in their favor that the Redskins do not currently enjoy. Baltimore controls its own playoff destiny at this point due to a head-to-head win vs. Pittsburgh in Week 9 and the potential for head-to-head sweep on Christmas Eve day.

Let's look at the Ravens scenarios going forward.

Baltimore heads to Pittsburgh in Week 16 to face their division rival with big stakes on the line. The Ravens can maintain control of their fate for the division title if they simply beat the Steelers this Saturday.

Baltimore will clinch the AFC North division title over the last two weeks with:

1) Two wins (at Pittsburgh, at Cincinnati) OR

2) Win at Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh loss to Cleveland OR

3) Tie with Pittsburgh and win at Cincinnati and Pittsburgh loss to Cleveland

If the Ravens win out to win the division and go 10-6, they will be locked in as the No. 3 seed and will face the No. 6 seed on Wild Card weekend. That opponent could anyone from Miami, Kansas City, Denver, Pittsburgh, Houton, Tennessee, Buffalo or Indianapolis).

If Baltimore does not win the division, but finishes 9-7 (1-1 over last two weeks), here's what they need to clinch a playoff berth (assuming no ties):

1) Two Miami Losses (at Buffalo, vs. New England) and one Denver loss (at Kansas City, vs. Oakland)

In this case, the Ravens would be the No. 6 seed and will likely be playing at Pittsburgh (AGAIN!) on Wild Card weekend.

That means if Baltimore beats Pittsburgh this week, the Ravens will be assured of at least a playoff berth if Denver loses at Kansas City Christmas night and Miami loses at Buffalo and then Miami loses to New England in Week 17.

Unfortunately, that also means that if Baltimore loses at Pittsburgh this week, a Miami win at Buffalo will eliminate the Ravens from the playoffs.

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Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Hard to believe, right?

Somehow, some way, the Baltimore Orioles have lost a game more recently than their football neighbors.

As a reminder, the Orioles season ended on *September 29*. They lost their regular season finale to the Red Sox that afternoon.

The Ravens’ last loss also came on September 29, though it came earlier in the afternoon.

It’s hard to fathom an NFL team winning for two-and-a-half straight months. 10 consecutive wins in that span is in the top-60 longest winnings streaks in NFL history, a sign of just how rare and impressive this Ravens stretch has been. 

It won’t be easy for Baltimore to maintain their play all the way through to the Super Bowl. If they do, however, they’ll have a chance to go almost an entire calendar year until their next loss.

Unfortunately, there will probably be a whole lot more Orioles losses in that span.

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Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

The Cardinals made a splash on Friday by waiving outside linebacker Terrell Suggs after just 13 games played in his Arizona career. 

The 37-year-old is now on waivers until Monday, where he’ll wait to see if he was claimed by one of the 31 other teams. Should he go unclaimed, he’ll be a free agent. 

Naturally, the immediate inclination was to assume a reunion was destined to happen between Suggs and the Ravens. Suggs is the all-time franchise leader in sacks (132.5) and games played (229), too.

But a reunion is more complicated than it might seem on the surface. 

This year, Suggs has 5.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits and 23 tackles. On the Ravens, those numbers would rank second, tied for third and 15th. But Suggs hasn’t registered a full sack since Oct. 20 and didn’t register a statistic in the team’s last game against the Steelers. 

Even still, with the need for proven pass-rushers across the league, Suggs is a desirable addition to any team looking to make a run.

Baltimore ranks 15th in sacks with 34, even with having played one more game than 30 other teams. The need is there for Suggs, who has already returned to the Ravens as a member of a different organization.

“It wasn’t circled, but when the schedule came out, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to downplay it as just another game,’” Suggs said in September. “But we all know that’d be (expletive). It’s kind of a unique situation, isn’t it?”

Suggs has shown the ability this season to be, at the very least, a situational pass-rusher and one that can contribute through the end of the season. Which, as the season winds down, makes his services valuable to teams looking to make a playoff push. 

He’ll be cheap too, as he wouldn’t cost a ton of money against the cap — and would fit into the Ravens plans moving forward. 

The problem, however, is where the Ravens are in the waiver wire order — dead last.

Teams like the Seahawks and Texans, whose pass rush ranks worse than the Ravens at the moment, and the 49ers, who just lost Dee Ford for a month, all could use pass-rushers to bolster their front seven.

That doesn’t include the possibility of a team in the AFC adding Suggs for two reasons: To add to their pass rush, while keeping Suggs away from Baltimore. 

Preventing the AFC’s top team from acquiring a late-season pass-rusher, one that would provide a significant boost to the organization, might be tempting as well. 

But for storylines, need on the field and fit with the organization, Suggs is a match to return to Baltimore.

It seems clear that Suggs and the Ravens would’ve preferred to be married to one another for the duration of Suggs’ career, and now there’s a chance to bring him back on board for another run at a title. 

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