Ravens see clear path to winning AFC North

Ravens see clear path to winning AFC North
December 16, 2013, 7:00 am
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Ravens wary of Stafford to Johnson

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens in Detroit prior to Monday night’s game against the Lions.

DETROIT – The Ravens woke up this morning with a golden opportunity to win the AFC North.

If they win their last three games, the Ravens (7-6) will win the division. It became that simple after the Bengals lost to the Steelers, 30-20, on Sunday night.

Cincinnati (9-5) is just one game ahead of the Ravens in the loss column. The Ravens and Bengals will meet Week 17 to end the regular season. If the Ravens win that game, they will sweep the season series and win the tiebreaker against the Bengals if they finish with identical records.

Monday night’s game in Detroit should be intense, with the crowd at Ford Field rocking. The Lions (7-6) have plenty to play for as well, locked in a three-team battle with the Bears (8-6) and Packers (7-6-1) for the NFC North. Both the Bears and Packers won Sunday, so the Lions need to keep pace.

However, with three games left in the regular season, the Ravens control their fate. Not just to make the playoffs, but to win the division title.

Joe Flacco will take that. John Harbaugh will take that. All the Ravens will take that. The stakes for Monday night’s game have been raised. We will see if the Ravens, just 1-5 on the road this season, rise to the occasion.

Morning thought: “We’re not divisional opponents and all that stuff, but this game matters for both teams. Essentially, it’s probably the biggest game of the year for both of us.” – Ray Rice, talking about Monday night’s game against the Lions.

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