The Ravens had to win and hope the Steelers lost on Sunday to improve their playoff seeding.
The former worked out for them. The latter, not so much.
The Ravens ground out a 13-7 win against the Bengals with an opportunistic defense and a heavy dose of Ray Rice. The Ravens forced five turnovers and Rice had 77 rushing yards and Baltimore's only touchdown.
But the Steelers' win over the Browns means the Ravens' place in the AFC playoff picture remains the same after Week 17.
The 12-4 Steelers win the AFC North over the 12-4 Ravens because of a tiebreaker based on win percentage in games against divisional opponents. That means the Ravens can do no better than a wild card berth.
But the Ravens' win over the Jets earlier this year meant that the Ravens could not fall to the sixth seed if they lost and the Jets won. The only move the Ravens could have made was to the second seed, with a win and a Steelers loss, and that didn't happen.