The Ravens schedule in 2012 has been among the toughest. The Rams tied the Ravens with the fourth strongest schedule and the Browns, Broncos, and Giants were the only teams with stronger schedules.
The Bengals will line up against the Ravens with a lot to prove. They have vastly improved after a three and five start and the defense has led the charge.
The Ravens’ offensive line played very well last week against the Giants but the Bengals have pass rushing threats at the defensive tackle position where as the Giants do not. Therefore, look out for the matchup between Marshal Yanda and Atkins, it will be a great one to watch!
If the Ravens beat the Bengals, they would need help from the Dolphins who would have to beat the Patriots in Fox Borough for the Ravens to claim the third seed in the AFC. Unfortunately, this wont happen so the Ravens will most likely host Andrew Luck and Chick Pagano in the wild card round. Many are predicting a Ravens victory but the Colts are a very good team. The Ravens would have to lean on the run game seeing as the Colts rank 30th against the run.
If the Ravens beat the Colts and the Patriots beat the Bengals (which is likely), the Ravens would have to travel to Houston to play the Texans who have only beaten the Ravens once in their history which was earlier this season. The Ravens season might just end there and if they get past the Texans, the Ravens would host a rematch of the AFC Championship game from last season.
The Patriots and Texans are arguably the best two teams in the NFL. The Ravens would have to beat both of them to reach the Super Bowl. But with Ray Lewis coming back for the playoffs and the defense getting healthier, anything is possible.