The Baltimore Ravens, Not the New England Patriots, Are Now the Likely No. 1 Seed in the AFC

Stephen Douglas
San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens
San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/Getty Images

The New England Patriots lost to the Houston Texans to slide to 10-2 on the season. Earlier in the day the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers to improve to 10-2. Thanks to a head-to-head win in Week 9, the Ravens are now the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

The Ravens have a tough game next week at Buffalo. After that they finish with the Jets and Steelers at home and another road game in Cleveland. That seems pretty easy, unless you're afraid of ducks, ghosts, or bakers.

Meanwhile, the Patriots have the Chiefs, Bills, and suddenly dangerous Dolphins at home. They also travel to Cincinnati, which finally won a game on Sunday. It doesn't get much tougher than that. Unless you're the 9-3 Buffalo Bills and have to play the Patriots and Ravens over the next four weeks with a legitimate, but outside opportunity to steal the No. 1 seed.

For now, the Ravens are in the driver's seat in the AFC. They control their destiny. Win and they get to stay in Baltimore until the Super Bowl. There's nothing the Patriots can do.