By the time the second quarter rolled around in Baltimore, the biggest storyline of Sunday for the Ravens was the out-of-town scoreboards at the corners of M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens waltzed to a 40-14 win over the Jaguars to move to 9-5 on the season, but the focus extended beyond Maryland after a certain point. And the results weren’t friendly.
The Patriots were eliminated from playoff contention with a loss and the Raiders’ loss Thursday essentially took them out of it. But the Colts (10-4), Titans (10-4) and Dolphins (9-5) all won, with the Browns (9-4) set to play on Sunday Night Football.
The Ravens did what they had to, but other teams in the AFC didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
“We just got to keep focused on what we have in front of us,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said postgame. “We have the Giants in front of us now, we’ve got to focus on those guys and pray next week the ones we need to lose, lose. We still got to try to get to the playoffs, that’s our goal.”
The Ravens currently have a 91% chance to make the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight. Should the Ravens win out, according to FiveThirtyEight, they would be a near-lock to make the playoffs. A loss to the Bengals and a win over the Giants would essentially render their fate to a coin flip, with a 51% chance to make the playoffs.
In essence, the Ravens are likely to get some help in the final few weeks, whether it be from the Bills beating the Dolphins, or the Colts beating the Steelers, or the Browns losing to the Giants or Steelers or maybe even the Jets.
Right now, it doesn’t matter where the help comes from for the Ravens, as long as they get it.
“It’s just a blessing to be in this position,” outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue said. “One time we were able to get to the playoffs, so it’s been a while. Been in the league for five years, only getting one playoff berth is not that fun. Just trying to take it week by week.”
A playoff appearance for the Ravens would mark the third straight season in the postseason with Jackson at the helm.
Two wins for the Ravens will basically get the job done, though it’s not guaranteed. This means that for the next two weeks out of town scores will be popular ones in Baltimore.