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Ravens going to playoffs: What we learned in Week 17

The AFC's final playoff spot was decided in a thrilling, crazy set of games early in Week 17.

At one point Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs were in position to make the tournament. Their pass rush was dominating the Chargers and they had the results they needed elsewhere. It looked like Chase Daniel might start a playoff game.

Then Houston came from behind to take the lead against Jacksonville, putting Case Keenum in pole position to potentially make the playoffs and gain J.J. Watt some much deserved MVP votes. (He has our votes.) 

Unfortunately for fans in Kansas City and Houston, the Ravens ended all the fun. Baltimore's 17 unanswered fourth-quarter points against Cleveland locked down the AFC's sixth seed for the Ravens. Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense have not played well down the stretch, but they'll make the playoffs and play on the road against the AFC North winner next week.

Here's what else we know after the early set of games:

  1. The Cowboys still have an outside chance at a playoff bye or the No. 1 seed in the NFC after taking care of business against Washington. But they still need a miracle: A tie in Packers-Lions or a loss by the Seahawks at home against the Rams.
  1. The Chiefs and Chargers both hit the offseason at 9-7 knowing they need more firepower. The Chargers need a reliable pass rush, while Kansas City clearly lacks offensive firepower. It felt like Kansas City maxed out their potential at 9-7. Chase Daniel started hot against San Diego, but ultimately looked like a backup.
  1. The Patriots' loss to Buffalo will be explained away by all their injuries and starters that have rested. Tom Brady sat out the second half. But it's worth noting that New England's offense did not play its best football down the stretch, and that included Sunday while Brady was in the game.
  1. The Bucs clinched the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft by blowing a big fourth-quarter lead against New Orleans. That is the definition of losing the battle, but winning the war.
  1. The Colts remain locked into the No. 4 seed in the AFC despite their win over Tennessee.

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