The Cincinnati Bengals can make life much easier for themselves with a win Sunday. At 9-6, they control their own destiny for the AFC's final Wild Card spot. Lose, and things get a little more complicated. Unfortunately for the Bengals, they have to face an 11-4 Baltimore Ravens team that's playing with plenty of motivation of its own.
The Ravens share an identical season record with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but hold the tiebreaker for the division lead thanks to two wins over their bitter rival. With a win Sunday, the Ravens would lock up the AFC's No. 2 seed and earn a first round bye. Should the New England Patriots lose, the Ravens could earn homefield advantage throughout the playoffs as well--no small accomplishment considering that they are 8-0 in Baltimore this season.
Road games have been another matter, however, with losses to the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks coming away from the friendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens will also have to contend with A.J. Green, who was out injured for the last meeting between the two teams. Green's return will be a major boost for quarterback Andy Dalton, who threw a season high three interceptions against the Ravens in November.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, January 1; 4:15 pm ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Ravens: 98 Rock, WBAL-1090 AM
Bengals: 700 WLW, ESPN 1530, 102.7 FM