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Friday, December 27, 2013
Ravens won't be scoreboard watching

By Jamison Hensley

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- If the Baltimore Ravens would've beaten the New England Patriots (instead of getting blown out by them), they would control their playoff fate heading into the regular-season finale at Cincinnati.

Now, the Ravens need help to reach the postseason. One way the Ravens can make the playoffs is if they win at Cincinnati and the Miami Dolphins lose to the New York Jets.

With both games being played at 1 p.m., is there any temptation to scoreboard watch?

"If we were playing in that [Dolphins-Jets] game, then we'd probably be concerned about it," coach John Harbaugh said after Friday's practice. "We have to win. We have to win. That's it. We don't have to have that game go a certain way. The next game can go a certain way. I'm not counting anybody out."

The Ravens would also earn the last playoff spot in the AFC if they beat the Bengals and the San Diego Chargers lose to the Kansas City Chiefs. But that scenario seems unlikely because the Chiefs, who are locked into the No. 5 seed, are expected to sit their key starters.

The Chargers-Chiefs game, though, doesn't kick off until 4:25 p.m., when the Ravens' game will likely be over.

"I don't really care what happens," Harbaugh said. "What I care about and what our guys care about is winning the game. That's what we will do. We will go out there and put everything into it to win that game. We plan on winning the game by any means necessary. After that, it's out of our control. So, it's really not that hard. That's what it is -- it's simple."

Another way for the Ravens to make the playoffs is if the Dolphins, Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers all lose.

But most believe the best shot for the Ravens to get to the postseason is the Dolphins losing.

"Occasionally, I look up at the scoreboard to see what's going on in the NFL. It's not like I'm going to pay attention to [the Dolphins game]," linebacker Jameel McClain said. "They're not going to make any difference to us while we're playing the game. Because we have to win that game to even worry about the next scenario."