Ravens

Quick Links

2018 NFL Playoff Picture: Doomsday scenario where the Ravens can be eliminated in Week 16

michael_crabtree_ravens_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

2018 NFL Playoff Picture: Doomsday scenario where the Ravens can be eliminated in Week 16

It is rare to find a team that enters a week holding a playoff spot and could exit the week officially eliminated from the postseason, unless of course it is Week 17.

But that is the situation that the Baltimore Ravens could find themselves in during Week 16.

Right now, the Ravens (8-6) hold the No. 6 seed and the final Wild Card spot in the AFC playoff picture. They hold that advantage due to a three-way tiebreaker by conference record over the Indianapolis Colts (8-6) and the Tennessee Titans (8-6).

They are also half a game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) for the AFC North division title.

Yet here is the scenario that would give the Ravens no chance in Week 17:

-Ravens lose to the Chargers
-Titans beat the Redskins
-Colts beat the Giants
-Steelers beat the Saints

The above results would yield these standings:

AFC North:
Steelers (9-5-1)
Ravens (8-7)

Final Wild Card spot:
Colts (9-6)
Titans (9-6)
Ravens (8-7)

In this scenario, the Ravens are fully out of the AFC North race, with it impossible to pass the Steelers. Yes, Pittsburgh is playing the Saints, but no one expected the Steelers to beat the Patriots nor the Saints to only score 12 points on Monday. 

While only one game back in the Wild Card, and still holding the tiebreaker over both the Colts and Titans, those two AFC South teams play each other in Week 17. One of two will get 10 wins (or they will both be 9-6-1). In which case, there is no possible scenario where the Ravens can make the playoffs.

So the Ravens HAVE to win this week to keep their playoff destiny in their hands. If not, it could be a dark week in Baltimore. 

MORE RAVENS NEWS: 

Quick Links

The Ravens appear to have their entire coaching staff returning for the 2020 season

The Ravens appear to have their entire coaching staff returning for the 2020 season

While the Ravens roster will likely remain mostly together for the 2020 regular season, it appears the coaching staff will stay entirely intact, too. 

After both coordinators, Greg Roman and Don “Wink” Martindale, had interviews with the Browns and Giants, respectively, those jobs were filled by Kevin Stefanski and Joe Judge. 

And more recently, quarterbacks coach James Urban and tight ends coach Bobby Engram were requested for interviews by the Eagles. Harbaugh said both Engram and Urban pulled out of the running and weren’t interested.

“It looks like our staff is going to stay together,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I can tell you that. I’m not saying anything couldn’t happen; there are always things brewing for a certain period of time.”

The Ravens have every offensive starter from the divisional playoff game under contract for next season, and now appear to have the offensive coordinator and all of the position coaches back on-board for another run too. The Ravens set a franchise record with 531 points, led by Lamar Jackson.

Things are still fluid, as a job opportunity for anyone on the staff can pop up out of the blue. But for now, the Ravens look like they’ll run the entire operation back for another go at a Super Bowl.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff performance

John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff performance

Coach John Harbaugh, just six days after his team’s disappointing 28-12 loss to the Titans in the AFC playoffs, has already had to defend his quarterback.

Faced with some criticism after Jackson finished 31-of-59 passing, and three total turnovers, Harbaugh mentioned how far Jackson has come in the last year — which also ended in an early playoff loss at home.

“It’s really interesting to look at Lamar Jackson, because look at the progress he made in the last year,” Harbaugh said Friday. “Because the same question, I think you might have asked it last year, how is he going to get better going forward? And he did a good job, right? He’s 23 years old. He’s younger than Joe Burrow. So, he has a pretty good head start right now.”

Jackson is now 0-2 in the playoffs with a 19-3 regular season record. 



He’s likely the MVP this season after he passed for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for 1,000 yards, setting the single-season rushing record for a quarterback along the way. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns and carried the most prolific offense in the league to a league-best 14-2. 

Harbaugh isn’t worried that his quarterback, who is just 23-years-old, hasn’t found his playoff success yet.

“The Manning brothers combined to, they had five losses in their first five playoff games before they won one,” Harbaugh explained. (Joe) Montana, (Steve) Young and (Brett) Favre didn’t start a playoff game until their third season, (Drew) Brees and (Troy) Aikman, until their fourth season, and (Aaron) Rodgers until his fifth season.”

After the season ended, Harbaugh added that Jackson went to his office to discuss the offseason and what he needed to do to improve. 

While Harbaugh and the offensive coaching staff had a plan for Jackson to improve, Jackson “nailed” each and every single critique that the coaches had laid out for him.

“I’m really confident in Lamar and his understanding the things he needs to do to get better, and that he’s going to work really hard to keep building himself up as a player,” Harbaugh said.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: