The Baltimore Ravens have been declared eliminated from the playoff contention after a challenging season marred by injuries to their starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, a number of running backs, and seemingly their entire secondary.
For Ravens supporters, it’s bad news. At 8-3, Baltimore was in a strong position to win the AFC North as late as Dec. 3. Expectations of just making the playoffs weren’t high enough.
However, Jackson has been absent from every game since, and as a result, the Ravens finished the season with a six-game losing streak.
In the event that Baltimore defeated the Steelers on Sunday, the Colts fell to the Jaguars (which did occur), the Dolphins fell to the Patriots, and the Chargers fell to the Raiders, they would have qualified for the postseason.
After Week 18, the Baltimore Ravens have the lowest chance of making the NFL playoffs, but at least they have a chance.
After a 5-1 start and a spot in MVP discussions for Lamar Jackson, the playoffs appeared to be a given. Baltimore is clinging to prayer, though, as injuries mounted (including to Jackson) and a current five-game losing streak.
For Baltimore to earn the No. 7 seed in the AFC, a lot of things need to go well. The Ravens will advance if they beat the Steelers, the Chargers lose to the Raiders, the Colts lose to the Jaguars, and the Dolphins lose to or tie the Patriots.
However, it appears that Baltimore’s run of consecutive postseason appearances will end at three.