Looking at the possible first-round matchups

While the AFC North title is still up for grabs, the Ravens have locked up a wild card spot.

Just in case you're coming out of a 16-hour coma, I figured I'd let you know.

Now that the playoff berth is secure, and I can no longer be blamed for any possible jinxes, we can start talking matchups.

With the Jets' loss to the Bears yesterday, the Ravens are guaranteed to finish with no worse than the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoff picture.They could still win the division if the Steelers lose to the Browns and Baltimore beats the Bengals next Sunday.

While possible, that seems unlikely. So, let's clench our teeth here and assume that Pittsburgh takes care of the Browns, locks up the division title, and the Ravens get the No. 5 seed.

Under those circumstances, Baltimore would face one of three teams: the Colts, Chiefs or Jaguars.

Most likely, the Ravens will end up traveling to Indianapolis for an opening round game against the Colts. Indy currently holds the No. 4 seed, and unless they beat the Titans (or earn a tie) next week and benefit from the Chiefs losing to the Raiders, they'll remain the No. 4 seed.

If Kansas City does lose next weekend and the Colts get a win, Indy would jump up to the No. 3 spot and the Ravens would face the Chiefs in the wild card round. Kansas City clinched the AFC West yesterday with a win and a Chargers loss.

Then there's a third scenario: If the Colts lose to Tennessee and the Jaguars beat the Texans next Sunday, Jacksonville would earn the AFC South title and get the No. 4 seed. Should that happen, the Ravens would head down to Florida to face Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jags in the opening round.

You got all that?

Not sure which of those potential matchups is more appealing to Ravens fans, but I know that if I'm in the Ravens' seat, I don't want to see the Colts.

They've had a ton of injuries this year and have looked vulnerable at times, but Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning. I know that some feel that to be the best, you have to unseat the best, but something about going into Lucas Oil Stadium and facing Manning would make me queasy if I was wearing purple and black.

blog comments powered by Disqus