I’m not a big fan of the whole “If the season ended today ...” line of thinking.
The season doesn’t end today, and a lot can happen between now and the final game of Week 17. We’ve already seen how quickly a team can go from holding control of the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed to sitting in a wild card spot and staring at road playoff games instead of a first-round bye.
Sorry. Too soon?
But based on where things stand right now (I know, that could be viewed as just another way of saying “if the season ended today”), there’s a very real chance that the Ravens end up taking on the Denver Tebows - I’m sorry, the Denver Broncos - in the first round of the playoffs.
Unless the Steelers drop at least one of their final three games, with tonight’s game at San Francisco being far and away the toughest of the three, the Ravens will get the top wild card spot and will have to travel to face the lowest-seeded division winner in the AFC.
That almost certainly will be the team that eventually emerges from the AFC West. Strangely enough, all four teams in that division still have a shot at the guaranteed playoff spot, but right now, the 8-6 Broncos have the edge. Denver holds a one-game lead over the Raiders and Chargers with the Chiefs two games back.
Denver’s last two games come at the 5-9 Bills - who have lost seven in a row, by the way - and at home against 6-8 Kansas City. If Tim Tebow and the Broncos win out, they will earn that No. 4 seed in the AFC.
What an interesting matchup that would make. Tebow, former Ravens running back Willis McGahee and the NFL’s top rushing attack against the league’s fifth-best rushing defense.
I can see executives at CBS drooling over that potential first-round battle now.
Tebow has led the Broncos on quite a run these last couple months, and he’s beaten a few solid defenses along the way, including the Jets, Chargers and Bears. But playing the Ravens and Chuck Pagano’s aggressive unit would certainly be a different animal.
Is that something you’re interested in? If the Ravens don’t win the division and instead have to travel on the road in the first round, would you like to see them have a shot to end the season of the much-discussed Tebow and company?
Or does the Broncos’ top-rated rushing attack and Tebow’s ability to run the read-option concern you?