clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Around the AFC North: Browns and Ravens facing must-win games in Week 14

The Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens are in desperate need of win this week to keep their hopes of making it to the NFL playoffs alive.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

While the Bengals and Steelers are battling this Sunday, two other critical AFC North matchups will be going on that could greatly impact the playoff picture.

The Ravens and Dolphins are right in the thick of the playoff race, and they'll face off in a Week 14 showdown that will go a long way in deciding which team makes it to the playoffs.

For the 7-5 Ravens, this has to be treated like an elimination game. With seven non-division leaders sporting a record of 7-5 or better in the AFC, Baltimore can't afford to lose to the Dolphins with just four games left.

As for the Dolphins, they currently hold the No. 6 seed in the AFC and are tied with five other teams for the final spot. For them to make it to the playoffs, they need to win out at home. With games against Baltimore, Minnesota and the New York Jets in the final month, Miami is in great position to get to the postseason.

The 7-5 Browns also face a must-win game this week when they host the Colts. After a convincing victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10, Cleveland has lost two of their last three games, which has knocked them down to last place in the division. Cleveland has a chance to get back into the race with Cincinnati coming to Cleveland in Week 15, but a win against Indianapolis would be a huge help for the Browns' attempt to end their playoff drought.

As for the 9-3 Colts, they're still in the running for a first-round bye with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. However, both of those teams have head-to-head wins over Indianapolis, which means the Colts probably need to win out to earn a first-round bye.

It's also worth pointing out that the Ravens host the Browns in a the regular-season finale. That only reinforces the notion that if both teams lose this week, it all but guarantees one of them won't make it to the playoffs.