The Baltimore Ravens won today in Cincinnati and clinched the AFC North and a playoff bye, but it wasn’t all bad news for the Bengals: Losses by other teams allowed them to back into the sixth and final AFC playoff spot.
That means the Bengals will travel to Houston and play the Texans in the first round of the playoffs next week. The Ravens will be off next week and then play a home playoff game in two weeks.
Ray Rice stole the show for the Ravens, running 24 times for 191 yards, scoring on a 70-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 51-yard run in the fourth quarter. Joe Flacco had a quiet but effective day passing, completing 15 of 19 passes for 130 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions.
The Bengals didn’t look much like a playoff team today, but they’ll have a chance in Houston: In the battle of rookie quarterbacks, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton gets the edge over Houston’s T.J. Yates.
The Ravens, however, absolutely look like not just a playoff team but a team that can contend for a title. The Ravens will be a tough out in the playoffs.