Updated AFC Playoff Picture after Ravens best Jaguars on Sunday Night Football

The Ravens are the first team in the AFC to clinch a postseason spot.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC Playoff Picture coming out of Week 15 solidified with Sunday Night Football. The Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars were the final teams in the conference with a game to play.

In the end, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens came away with a 23-7 victory, riding an impressive performance from the quarterback including a stunning MVP highlight.

The win clinched the playoffs for the Ravens, who are the first team in the AFC with that box checked.

AFC Playoff Picture after Week 15

  1. Ravens (11-3) *Clinched playoffs
  2. Dolphins (10-4)
  3. Chiefs (9-5)
  4. Jaguars (8-6)
  5. Browns (9-5)
  6. Bengals (8-6)
  7. Colts (8-6)
  8. Texans (8-6)

In the hunt:

9. Bills (8-6)
10. Steelers (7-7)
11. Broncos (7-7)
12. Raiders (6-8)
13. Chargers (5-9)

Eliminated: Titans (5-9), Jets (5-9), Patriots (3-11)

The Ravens needed a win over the Jaguars especially badly because wins won't come easy the rest of the way. They face a difficult road test against the 49ers on Christmas Day. They follow that up with a New Year's Eve matchup with the Dolphins that could decide the No. 1 seed. Finally, they'll have to take take of business with a finale against the Steelers.

The Jaguars are still in control in the AFC South but that's only because they hold tiebreakers over the Colts and Texas. The three-way tie at 8-6 leaves the door open for any of those teams to take the division crown.

Jacksonville has a more favorable road than the Ravens with a road game against the Buccaneers, a home tilt against the Panthers and a road finale against the eliminated Titans.

Along with Tennessee, the Jets joined the ranks of the eliminated this week with their shutout loss to the Dolphins.

The Dolphins remain the biggest threat to the Ravens and the No. 1 seed. However, nothing is a given as they face a difficult slate themselves: vs. Dallas, at Baltimore and vs. Buffalo.

The Chiefs got back on track with a win over the Patriots and they'll look to stay in the hunt for the No. 1 seed with games against the Raiders, Bengals and Chargers on the road to finish their regular season.


As for the AFC Wild Card, the Browns, Bengals and Colts continue to defy the odds, each winning this weekend with a backup quarterback. The Texans joined the club as well, besting the Titans with Case Keenum stepping in for C.J. Stroud.

Can they keep it up or will the surging Bills catch up to grab one of those coveted spots?

The Steelers, Broncos, Raiders and Chargers are all still technically alive for the Wild Card as well. Stranger things have happened in the NFL, so we'll have to watch it all play out.

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