John Harbaugh owes his younger brother an extra special Christmas present this year.
The 49ers, coached by Jim Harbaugh, gave the Ravens ton of help tonight by beating the Steelers 20-3.
With the Pittsburgh loss, John Harbaugh’s Ravens now are back atop the AFC North. Both the Ravens and Steelers currently hold 10-4 records, but Baltimore owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over their arch rival courtesy of their season sweep of Pittsburgh.
The Ravens now occupy the No. 2 seed in the AFC, this after they woke up this morning in second place in the division and holding the No. 5 spot in the conference.
Last night’s embarrassing blowout loss to San Diego still stings, but it doesn’t sting nearly as bad now.
If the Ravens win their final two games of the season - at home against the Browns on Saturday and at Cincinnati next Sunday - they will secure a first-round bye and at least one home playoff game.
The Patriots are currently in sole possession of the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and are a full game up on Baltimore. For the Ravens to have a shot at that top spot, New England will need to drop one of their final two games, which come at home against the Dolphins and Bills, and the Texans will need to lose at least one game, as well.
If the Pats drop one game and the Ravens and Texans win out, Houston would get the top seed based on the conference record tiebreaker.
The No. 1 seed would be lovely, but a division title and first-round bye would do just fine. To get there, however, the Ravens will have to take care of business against two physical division rivals who clearly won’t back down.
And watch out - the regular season finale will come on the road.