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    Los Angeles Rams vs. Baltimore Ravens Playoff Scenarios: Can banged-up Baltimore save its season?

    The Rams and Ravens showdown in Week 17 has gigantic playoff implications -- we break down playoff scenarios for both clubs.

    The entire AFC playoff picture could rest on Lamar Jackson’s gimpy ankle. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback hasn’t played in weeks, but he practiced ahead of Sunday’s critical showdown with the Los Angeles Rams. Whether or not Jackson can go will have major implications for the Ravens — meanwhile, we also go through the playoff-clinching scenarios for the Rams.

    Update: The Rams have defeated the Ravens, 20-19. Playoff scenarios are listed below. For a complete up-to-date picture, visit our NFL Playoff Scenarios.

    Playoff-clinching scenarios for Rams vs. Ravens

    A month ago, this looked like a candidate for Game of the Year.

    But the Ravens have had awful luck all season and that didn’t abate during the holidays. Third-stringer Josh Johnson had to play in Week 16 with Jackson and Tyler Huntley both out. The Ravens will need to be at their best against the streaking Rams.

    How the Rams can clinch the division title

    The Rams are already in the field. But they still have plenty for which to play. They have better than a 3-in-4 chance of winning the NFC West. They can clinch it Sunday in two ways.

    They would claim the division crown if they beat the Ravens and the Cardinals tie or lose to the Dallas Cowboys. Los Angeles would also lock down the West with a tie and a Cardinals loss. There’s no way the Rams could clinch the No. 1 seed this week, but a win would keep them alive.

    How the Ravens can clinch a playoff spot

    They cannot. What’s more, they don’t even control their own destiny after four straight losses. Still, FiveThirtyEight has the Ravens at 30% to make the playoffs — the ninth-best odds of the 16 AFC teams.

    Other Week 17 playoff implications for Rams, Ravens

    The Rams have come a long way in a short period. They have overtaken the Cardinals for the NFC West lead with four straight wins, including a Week 14 W over Arizona. The Rams are guaranteed at least one home playoff game with wins in their final two regular games — which are against the Ravens and 49ers. However, Los Angeles needs a perfect storm to steal home-field advantage away from the Green Bay Packers.

    Beyond winning out, the Rams would need the Packers to tie or lose to both the Vikings and the Lions, plus have the Cowboys lose to either the Cardinals or Eagles. There will likely be a big-time Week 18 battle, however, for the No. 2 seed and the home Divisional Round game that would come with it.

    The Rams do also have to worry about blowing the division lead. The Cardinals would own the tiebreaker, so a loss in either of their final two games could mean that the Rams would need to win three straight road games to play in the Super Bowl held in their home stadium.

    This is essentially a must-win for the Ravens

    If they do win, many paths to the playoffs open up. The best-case Week 17 scenario for Baltimore is a win and a Cincinnati loss. That would keep alive hopes of an AFC North title, but more help would be needed in Week 18.

    If both the Ravens and Bengals win this week, Baltimore’s only hope would be as a Wild Card. But the Ravens would also need a loss by the Dolphins or Raiders over the last two weeks. There are roughly 20 ways in which the Ravens could actually be eliminated from playoff contention this weekend, but none are at all likely. Here’s the most plausible: Baltimore loses and the Raiders, Chargers, and Dolphins all win.

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