OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens are among eight teams who are either tied for the last playoff spot in the AFC or one game behind. Of that group, the Ravens have the fourth-toughest schedule over the last six weeks of the regular season.
The Ravens' remaining opponents have a combined 31-29 record (.517). Only three teams in the AFC playoff hunt have a more challenging finish: the San Diego Chargers (.689), Oakland Raiders (.600) and Miami Dolphins (.525). The easiest road belongs to the Cleveland Browns, whose remaining opponents are 27-32 (.450).
“It’s a task, but it’s a capable task, especially with our next three games at home," Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "Everyone knows how we play at home. It always starts with that first one, and that’s this weekend against the New York Jets.”
The Ravens' three-game homestand features teams who don't have winning records: the Jets (5-5), Pittsburgh Steelers (4-6) and Minnesota Vikings (2-8). After that, the Ravens play three teams who either lead the division or are tied for the lead: at Detroit Lions (6-4), home against the New England Patriots (7-3) and at the Cincinnati Bengals (7-4).
The Ravens are currently one game behind the Jets in the chase for the final wild-card spot in the AFC, which adds more importance to Sunday's game.
"Everyone can say this is a must-win game, but I felt like Week One versus Denver was a must-win game," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "You have to approach it all the same. If you don’t, then you’re limiting yourself. We know what’s on the line. We know if we drop some games, or even one game, that we might not be in the hunt. But at the same time, you can’t worry about anything but the New York Jets at this moment. We can’t worry about what anyone else is doing. We have to worry about ourselves and go out there and get it done. It’s really that simple.”