Entering Monday night's battle with the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens are on the outside looking in when it comes to the AFC playoff picture.
Baltimore is currently at 7-5 and sits eighth in the AFC, with the Miami Dolphins right above at 8-5 holding the newly-added seventh playoff spot. Yet, despite the Dolphins being in the postseason as of now, the odds still favor the Ravens.
NBC News' Steve Kornacki, who has traded in election maps for NFL standings in his new Sunday Night Football segment, stated that Baltimore has a 56% chance at the playoffs as of Sunday. Miami was at just 39%.
“Why is that?" Kornacki said. "Has everything to do with the remaining schedule.”
Based on who is left on the slate for both teams, the Ravens face a much lower degree of difficulty, even with the 9-3 Browns looming.
Following that bout, Baltimore has the Jaguars, Giants and Bengals left on the schedule. Jacksonville and Cincinnati are at the bottom of the league, and while nothing is guaranteed, it is two ideal matchups for the Ravens. Though the Giants have a recent win over the Seahawks and are in the thick of the NFC East race, Baltimore should still remain the favorite.
As for Miami, the Patriots, Raiders and Bills round out the 2020 slate. New England is struggling, but Bill Belichick should never truly be counted out, especially when the Patriots won the first head-to-head battle in Week 1. Las Vegas will be fighting for a playoff spot as well and features a talented offense, while Buffalo is on the cusp of an AFC East title. It's not a gauntlet, but it's not easy.
Therefore, the current positioning doesn't dictate what the playoff picture could be. A win on Monday is crucial for Baltimore, but as Kornacki sees it, what lies ahead is very beneficial.
“So really it's the Ravens, not in the playoffs right now, but they have the easiest path," Kornacki said. "Especially if they can get that win tomorrow against Cleveland.”