Terrell Suggs’ “state of emergency” comment after the loss to the Steelers might have been overstating it.
The Ravens are 3-4 for the first time under coach John Harbaugh, and that certainly isn’t ideal. But they come out of the bye week with nine games to go and thanks to struggles throughout the AFC, they aren’t in a bad situation postseason-wise.
Baltimore might be 2 1/2 games out of first place in the division, but they’re just one game out of a playoff spot. If the postseason started today, the sixth seed in the AFC would be San Diego at 4-3. The New York Jets are a half-game back at 4-4 with the Ravens, Titans, Raiders and Dolphins another half-game behind at 3-4.
So depending on how this week shakes out, even at .500, the Ravens could draw even for the second wild card.
The AFC North race is going to be a challenge with Cincinnati rolling to four straight wins and a 6-2 record.
Here’s a quick look at the division standings:
It’s a tight race, to say the least, with one game separating second and fourth. The Ravens will have plenty of chances to make up some ground with four of their six division games still on the schedule - two against the first-place Bengals and one apiece against the Browns and Steelers.
Baltimore’s next two games come against divisional foes with a trip to Cleveland coming Sunday followed by a visit from Cincinnati.
A week later, the Ravens travel to Chicago before opening a three-game homestand against the Jets, Steelers and Vikings. The first two of those contests come in a matter of five days because of the Steelers-Ravens Thanksgiving night affair.
Baltimore wraps the regular season with a tough stretch - road games at Detroit and Cincinnati sandwiched around a home tilt against the Patriots.
One could argue that the the Ravens have already faced the two best teams on their schedule - with losses to the Broncos and Packers in the rear view. But six of the Ravens’ last nine games are against teams currently .500 or better, while just two of the first seven contests were against winning clubs.
This isn’t going to be an easy road, but Baltimore is just one game out of a playoff berth with lots of opportunities to shake up the division and conference races.