As a Ravens fan, this year has been tough to watch. To be honest, the last few years have been tough to watch. Although they’ve kept up the pace of their incredible defense, their offense has essentially fallen off a cliff.
This season they are only averaging 281 yards per game, the second-fewest in the league. Somehow, even after embarrassing losses to Jacksonville by 37 points and to the division rival Steelers by 17, the Ravens find themselves at 6-5 which is enough to land them as the current 6th seed in the playoffs. Despite being a joke and receiving tons of deserved criticism, they find themselves as favorites to earn a wildcard spot.
How Realistic Are The Ravens Playoff Hopes?
The Ravens play in the AFC which bodes well for their playoff prospects. This conference is far inferior to the NFC this season. The NFC currently has five teams with an 8-3 or better record, inversely the AFC has two. The teams in contention for the AFC wildcard spots are even worse. Out of the teams in contention, their records go in order of 6-5, 5-6, 5-6, 5-6. Teams with losing records are the closest to making the playoffs.
With all that said, the Ravens have a very winnable schedule moving forward. They have great matchups against the Lions, Browns, Colts, and Bengals. Three of those four games will be at home with the only road game being in Cleveland. The only very unfavorable matchup is against the Steelers. Assuming they win three out of four of the favorable matchups and lose to the Steelers, they will still finish 9-7 and I assume that will be enough to make the playoffs as either the 5th or 6th seed.
Although they will make the playoffs, I find it highly unlikely they win their first postseason matchup. With inevitable matchups against either Jacksonville or Tennessee or even the L.A. Chargers, all three teams should be able to handle the Ravens.
With top-tier defenses in Jacksonville and L.A., the Ravens will struggle to move the ball. The best opportunity would be to face the Titans, yet even that game feels like a longshot especially if Marcus Mariota and his cast of talented skill players can score in bunches. Nonetheless, it’s going to be nice to finally see the Ravens have a productive season again.