Ravens leap to first place in the AFC North Division

Posted at 8:57 PM, Dec 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-23 21:06:08-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — The Baltimore Ravens have taken over first place atop the AFC North Division.

It happened on Sunday evening after the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the New Orleans Saints 31-28.

Down by three points with under a minute to go in the game, Pittsburgh was driving down the field in hopes of making a comeback when receiver Ju Ju Smith-Schuster fumbled. The Saints recovered to seal the win, which resulted in the Ravens leapfrogging the Steelers in the division.

With a win against the Cleveland Browns next Sunday, Baltimore will not only be division champions, they will also secure a home playoff game, their first since 2012.

Before Sunday's events transpired, Baltimore with a 9-6 record held the sixth seed in the AFC Wild Card following their 22-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night.

In that game, rookie Lamar Jackson improved to 5-1 since taking the helm as the teams starting quarterback.

Going into Los Angeles, the Ravens were thought by many to be the games underdog. The Chargers at the time were coming in as a playoff shoe-in with a season record of 11-3. Baltimore's defense however dominated quarterback Phillip Rivers and the Chargers high powered offense, forcing three turnovers.

At times this season the Ravens appeared destined to once again miss the playoffs. After a mid-season injury to quarterback Joe Flacco put the season further in doubt, reports even surfaced that head coach John Harbaugh's job was in jeopardy.

On Friday however the Ravens announced Harbaugh will be returning next season, which comes after a resurgence under Jackson that will lead them to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

Due to Sunday's results, kickoff for next weeks game against the Browns has been flexed from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m.