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NFL playoff picture: What does Ravens-Browns mean for AFC standings

The Ravens face the Browns in Cleveland on Saturday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of FirstEnergy Stadium prior to the National Football League game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on September 18, 2022, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Results update: The Browns beat the Ravens 13-3 to improve to 6-8. Cleveland improves to tenth place in the AFC conference pending the Jaguars and Raiders results on Sunday. Baltimore drops to 9-5 and is a half game back of the Bengals pending Cincinnati’s road game against the Bucs on Sunday.

The Cleveland Browns host the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday with kickoff set 4:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network. The Ravens beat the Steelers last week and have won six of their last seven games in spite of QB issues. Lamar Jackson is expected to miss Saturday’s game and Tyler Huntley is uncertain due to a concussion. Meanwhile, the Browns lost to the Bengals last week after winning two straight and are on the verge of playoff elimination.

The Browns are a field goal favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Ravens playoff picture

Baltimore is 9-4 and tied for first in the AFC North, holding the tiebreaker edge on the Bengals. The Ravens are in third place overall in the conference, a game back of the Chiefs and Bills. They are two games up on the fourth-place Titans.

If the Ravens win, they maintain at least their share of first place pending the result of Bengals-Bucs. The Bills host the Dolphins and the Chiefs travel to the Texans, so the standings could shuffle or remain the same with a Ravens win. If they lose on Saturday, they will either remain in their current position, or if the Bengals win, they would drop to either fifth or sixth depending on the Dolphins outcome.

Browns playoff picture

The Browns are 5-8 and in third place in the AFC North. They are two games back of the seventh place Patriots, but are also close to elimination from playoff contention. They would be eliminated this week if they lose and either the Chargers, Jets, or Patriots win.

Tiebreaker implications

The biggest tiebreaker in play is division record. If the Bengals beat the Ravens in Week 18 and they finish tied for first, the division record tiebreaker would come into play. Baltimore is 3-0 in the AFC North and the Bengals are 2-3. If the Ravens beat the Browns, they would clinch that tiebreaker. In the conference standings, the first tiebreaker after head-to-head between two teams is conference record. Baltimore and Kansas City are currently tied at 6-3 in the AFC. Buffalo beat both teams, so if there is a three-way tie, Buffalo would get the top spot.