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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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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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