Here we are, the last week of the regular season in the NFL.
I don’t think many fans here would be annoyed if somehow Sunday’s game was a repeat of week 1’s 44-13 blowout. However this Sunday’s (1 pm on CBS) game of Ravens-Bengals should likely be close, as both teams would like to head into the playoffs with some momentum.
The Ravens have a little more at stake in this game than the Bengals: possibly moving up to the 3rd seed in the playoffs. There is only one possible set of outcomes needed for this to happen, in which the Ravens must win plus the Patriots must lose their game against the Dolphins.
If this indeed happens, guess what? Yes, we would play the Bengals next week too! [In case you didn’t know, in the playoff format for the first round (the Wild Card round) the #6 seed travels to the #3 seed, and the #4 seed hosts the #5 seed.]
Most of the playoff predictors see the Ravens playing the Indianapolis Colts next week in Baltimore, which would be a good game as well. Although, my ideal seeding for the AFC’s playoffs would unfold as:
#4 New England
I feel that our best playoff chances can be likely if we play Cinci first and take on the Texans next, while hoping either Denver or Denver & New England get knocked out by someone else (presumably the Colts).
Also, to ensure that this will still be watchable, the Patriots-Dolphins game is at a later time, so the Ravens wouldn’t know ahead of time if they should rest their starters and not put much effort into the game. (implying that if the Patriots had already locked up the 3rd seed, the Ravens wouldn’t try to win Sunday)
Since 2001, the Ravens lead the series over the Bengals just by 12-11! Also, the Ravens & Bengals have been neck and neck on offense while both defenses have stepped up the last few weeks.
One last thing to note is the Ravens’ scoring offense. They need to score 11 points to set a new team record for points scored in a season, and 19 points for 400 points in a season! After last Sunday’s 33-14 win over the Giants, I feel very confident in the Ravens offensive ability under Jim Caldwell’s direction.
Here’s to another great week in football, and the start of the postseason! Go Ravens! Also, be sure to enjoy the holidays.
PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK.COM/BALTIMORERAVENS