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Ravens clinch fifth straight trip to playoffs with Pittsburgh loss

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at

BALTIMORE — Only a few hours after suffering their worst home defeat in over five years, the Ravens officially received their ticket to their fifth straight trip to the playoffs after the Pittsburgh Steelers fell in Dallas.
The Ravens failed to clinch the AFC North title after suffering a humbling 34-17 defeat to the Denver Broncos, but the Cowboys’ overtime win over Pittsburgh officially sent Baltimore to a league-best fifth consecutive postseason appearance. Still one game ahead of the Bengals in the division race, the Ravens can take care of business themselves against the New York Giants in Baltimore with a win next Sunday to secure the AFC North crown.
Clinching the AFC North next week will not be possible if the Ravens lose to the Giants, regardless of what happens in the Week 16 Steelers-Bengals game. A Cincinnati win would set up a Week 17 showdown with the Ravens in which the winner takes the division. A Steelers win over the Bengals would set up a potential scenario in which the three AFC North teams could all finish the season with 9-7 records if Cincinnati would beat Baltimore and Pittsburgh would beat Cleveland in Week 17. This would result in Pittsburgh winning the three-way head-to-head tiebreaker to take the division.
Of course, the Ravens would cure all headaches by beating the Giants and putting all these tiebreaker scenarios to rest.
Regardless of how the next two weeks play out, Baltimore is the only team in the league to win a playoff game in each of the last four seasons, and the Ravens will have a chance to do it once again this January.


  1. Luke I watched the Dallas game and it didn’t make everything all better for me as a fan, but what I see is potentially the worst playoff team in the AFC, and one that can beat anybody on a given Sunday. This team hasn’t played well since the early going, so there is some hope that they can get something going. Flacco now has 3 games to justify a long term deal (2 reg season 1 playoff). Here is a question, if Flacco shows himself not to be elite in the next few weeks, do the Ravens go looking for a new QB in the off season? I guess it depends on the market value is for Flacco. Maybe things fall right while another QB is found.
    (L.J. – No, I don’t think the Ravens go looking for another quarterback. But it does make the offseason much more interesting in how they handle contract negotiations and potentially the franchise tag.)

  2. I have never thought Flacco to be that great…. To me he is a choker, it seems like, not always mind you, but when the lights are bright he doesn’t show


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