The Pittsburgh Steelers just defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 on Monday night football. They improve to 10-2 and the Bengals fall to 5-7. This pretty much puts the AFC North division title out of reach for the Ravens. The Wild Card race becomes a little easier with a Bengals loss however.
Before this game, the Ravens still had a shot at winning the division over the Steelers. If the Steelers lost to the Bengals, Ravens next week, and then the Patriots, they would have fallen to 9-5. Instead, they now have 10 wins and will almost definitely finish with at least 11. The Ravens will have to win all four of their remaining games to finish 11-5. It’s possible, but not the most likely outcome.
The Wild Card race has now become a little easier for Baltimore though. Cincinnati was hot on the tails of the Ravens for the 6th seed into the playoffs before this loss. Now, the Ravens must fend off the Buffalo Bills (6-6), L.A. Chargers (6-6), Oakland Raiders (6-6), or Kansas City Chiefs (6-6) depending on who wins the AFC West, for the Wild Card spot.
The Ravens currently own the 6th seed and it’s theirs to lose. It’s very realistic for the Ravens to finish the season 10-6, winning three of their remaining four games, but 9-7 may also be enough to sneak in to the post-season. They currently have an 87.3 percent chance to make the playoffs.