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So it seems that, if the Ravens win, they have 4 possible playoff opponents:

If MIA wins + CLE wins = PIT
If MIA wins + CLE loses = BUF

If MIA loses +TEN loses + IND wins = IND
If MIA loses + TEN wins (or IND loses) = TEN

I'd say I'd prefer:
1) IND, I just don't see Rivers doing much against our D based on previous matchup, now that our D is healthy again
2) PIT, not sold that their woes are solved after 1 good offensive half
3) TEN, I would love to get revenge on them but I fear their offense
4) BUF, they are a scary team but I think we still can beat them, just not sure if we can defend them well   

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1. Steelers: They swept us this season, I’d rather get the opportunity to beat them and prove definitively that we are the best team in the AFCN this season... and I don’t think they’ll be available for us to play in the second round.

What’s more, if there is a team whose coaches have been just as unclutch in the playoffs recently, it’s the Steelers. I’d rather give our coaches and players a familiar matchup in the first round for them to get their playoff sea legs up under them. Keep them from overcomplicating things and just play. I think the Steelers are easily our best bet for doing that.

2. Titans: While the Titans have added back some secondary pieces, they’re still susceptible to being ran over. Last time we played our rushing attack was coming out of 22 and 12 personnel sets more often than not. They had success in stopping it. However since then our personnel packages now better space out defenders and provide room for Lamar and Dobbins to activate... and less bulk for Gus to have to sift through. I think in a rematch we run on them far more efficiently and thus opens the offense up for additional points.

Dez Bryant was seeing his first amount of respectable game action. Seemed like he and Lamar were still finding their bearings together. If the Titans leave him with 10 yards of consistent space in this game, I think we toast them with underneath hitch routes as we’ve seen more of recently.

On the other side of the ball, Marlon Humphrey mentioned that he had been suffering from the after effects from covid in that game in an interview this past week. His endurance was shot and he had a few uncharacteristic plays in that game where I felt his effort wasn’t where it normally is... which makes sense considering his admission.

Lastly, both Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell missed that initial matchup. With both in the lineup and likely full healthy come playoff time (Williams already looks back to 100%), I think our run defense on Derrick Henry is far better. We likely do a far better job of keeping Queen clean. This matchup we also now have Chris Board playing at a high level and LJ Fort isn’t in his first game back from injury.

Lastly, I think we’ve got a decent bit of experience with what the Titans are as a team and are familiar with them after facing them twice in the last calendar year. That familiarity should help our squad settle into the playoffs. We’re two very similar style teams and I think with a healthy defense consisting of Campbell, Williams, Jimmy (who got hurt in that game and only played 37% of snaps) along with Anthony Averrett’s best self... we win this game by 10 points.

3. Colts: I’m not afraid of playoff Rivers, but I also know that the last two playoff eliminations it generally came on the back of teams with incredibly impactful DI options causing our IOL to implode. It happened against the Chargers with Bozeman and Skura getting steamrolled into the backfield. It also happened with the Titans last year behind Jurrell Casey and Jefferey Simmons. The Colts caused our offense fits in the 1st half of that regular season game and between DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart, and Autry... they have the type of IDL to live in the backfield, they also have the LB speed to matchup against our RBs and Lamar in space.

Playoff Rivers doesn’t scare me, however I do think there defense could make things INCREDIBLY difficult and make it so that one big play made by Rivers passing it to a RB that does all the work is all that’s needed to win the game. I could see a game similar to the game against the Chargers in 2018 postseason where our defense dominates, but are unclutch down the stretch when the offense finally figures things out.

4. Bills: Similar to the Colts, the Bills have a very athletic defensive front that can make things difficult on our rushing attack. They also have an offense that can put points up on the board. Now that Allen is more accurate and not tossing passes 10 yards from his targets, this game could go similar to the 2019 matchup, only Allen makes just enough plays to prevail.

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That said the most ideal and LOLworthy route probably comes if
Texans def Titans
Colts def Jags
Browns def Steelers
Ravens def Bengals
Bills def Dolphins

Would lead to our second least ideal first round matchup (IMO):
Ravens @ Colts
Browns @ Steelers
Titans @ Bills

However this route would lead to the hilariousness of the Browns beating the Steelers in back to back weeks causing a total Steelers/media meltdown, while simultaneously closing the book on the Big Ben Steelers era in such a fantastically hilarious way.

This would also lead to the most ideal 2nd round matchups.

Browns @ Ravens
Titans @ Chiefs

Titans have one of the better chances of beating the Chiefs. The Browns will likely be talking so much trash after routing the Steelers in such a bragtastic fashion, thus trouncing them in the divisional round would still prove we were the best AFCN team, while still having the sweet satisfaction of letting the Browns know who their daddy is. Nothing would upset Browns fans more than after experiencing their first playoff win in ages, losing to their most hated franchise. 😂

Titans @ Ravens

How hilarious would it be to have it that after all the downs and unmet expectations for this season, that we would find ourselves with a home field in the AFCCG? You couldn’t make it up any better than a 5th seed that, two weeks remaining seemed as though they would miss the playoffs because of a descending Steelers team and teams that might rest their starters, would somehow find themselves in such a spot.

In addition this would simultaneously allow us to get revenge for the Titans eliminating our “destiny team” from the postseason while also getting revenge for the Titans players doing their best Juju Smith-Schuster impression by intentionally standing on our logo prior to the game. Bulletin board material.

Ravens @ Saints

Can’t really think of any specific narratives for any NFC team that would be “personal” thus I think I’d settle for the Ravens beating the Saints in the last second of the game due to some sort of crazy play that seals the Saints fates as the most unlucky playoff team in recent memory. Would complete this postseason theme. Plus Lamar needs his very own Mile High Miracle playoff moment.

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Call it dumb superstition I guess but I don't really want to get too much into wishcasting around opponents and stuff like that. But FWIW if we do beat Cincinnati it's a virtual certainty that we play Pittsburgh in Round 1 now that we know they're resting their starters next week. Can't see Buffalo playing their key starters for more than a half against Miami next week with the 2 seed basically locked up for them. 

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1 hour ago, SalvadorsDeli said:

Call it dumb superstition I guess but I don't really want to get too much into wishcasting around opponents and stuff like that. But FWIW if we do beat Cincinnati it's a virtual certainty that we play Pittsburgh in Round 1 now that we know they're resting their starters next week. Can't see Buffalo playing their key starters for more than a half against Miami next week with the 2 seed basically locked up for them. 

Agree with not jinxing our game against the Bengals. However, Buffalo is (slighly) favored over the Dolphins. Since they control their destiny for 2, they are expected to compete. I don't think they can scoreboard watch and change their plan as that's easier said than done. I think Tenn is (by a very slight margin) our most probable opponent if we are in the playoffs.

Edited by wackywabbit
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45 minutes ago, diamondbull424 said:

Nothing would upset me more if this team lost to Zac Taylor. Dude just feels like a loser HC... so to lose to THAT, some heads would certainly need to roll, I could care less if we still somehow back in into the playoffs at that point.

Imagine being at that 2017 Ravens/Bengals game on New Years Eve 🙃

Was at the very top of the stadium 

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/wind-chill-advisory-wind-chill-expected-to-be-4-on-new-years-eve 

🙃🙃🙃

 

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2 minutes ago, Ray Reed said:

Imagine being at that 2017 Ravens/Bengals game on New Years Eve 🙃

Was at the very top of the stadium 

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/wind-chill-advisory-wind-chill-expected-to-be-4-on-new-years-eve 

🙃🙃🙃

 

😆 Brutal. Best I can muster was being at a Steelers loss for my first stadium experience in 2018 (I prefer watching on TV), but my experience came in nice weather and in the Under Armour suite with plenty of food and drinks to keep me nice and merry afterwards. 😆 


——

But yeah, at least THAT squad had Marvin Lewis (Ravens killer) and The Red Rifle... we’re facing Zac Taylor and a backup QB.

This would be like losing 1v1 in basketball, game to 11... to a 6 year old. I don’t care how much of a prodigy that little kid is, no way I’m not just taking little man into the post and delivering him future sleepless nights from the trauma. 😂

So again losing to Taylor with a backup QB would send me into a spiral for sure. Even if we were dealing with a covid bowl scenario, we should win this game.

So superstition be damned. We’d BETTER win this game, else this team doesn’t even deserve a flight back to Baltimore, they should all be forced to walk from Cincinnati without sleep, maybe then after those 5-6 days might they be forgiven enough to step foot back into this region.

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