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Ravens playoff scenarios, and who to root for Sunday

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The Baltimore Ravens head into the final two weeks of the regular season with their playoff hopes very much alive.

The Ravens can still reach the playoffs by either grabbing the final wild card spot in the AFC or winning their division.

The Ravens can clinch a wild card berth this weekend with a Miami loss and San Diego loss or tie. They can set themselves up for a chance to win the division next week against Cincinnati with a win or a Cincinnati loss.

Considering those scenarios, here's a look at the key matchups this weeked, who to root for, and what to expect.

Cincinnati hosts Minnesota. The Ravens need the Vikings to help them out, and while the records may say otherwise, it isn't crazy to think a big upset could occur. Cincinnati has a good record at home this year, but they don't boast a great homefield advantage. The Bengals have been really unimpressive for much of the season, and the Vikings are suddenly playing much better. They also could have Adrian Peterson back for this showdown.

Miami travels to Buffalo in what could be considered a trap game. The Dolphins have found a way to pull out some close, surprising wins the past couple of weeks, so they might be a bit drained emotionally. Buffalo beat the Dolphins in Miami earlier in the year, and Orchard Park is usually no picnic in December.

San Diego hosts Oakland, and this will be the game most likely to disappoint Ravens fans. The Chargers have extra rest heading into this game, are at home and know what's on the line. There is nothing on the line for the Raiders, who can't stop anyone but have suprisingly put points on the board with Matt McGloin as their starting quarterback. San Diego has surprisingly struggled against some of the NFL's worst teams this year, but in general, have played very well. Even in their losses, the games have been very close.

There is still the smallest of chances that the Ravens could magically land a first-round bye. It would help the Ravens if the Colts were to lose this week or next week.



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