History says the Ravens will reach the playoffs.
The Ravens have won their last regular-season game at home for the past five years. In their four playoff seasons, the Ravens have finished strong, beating their final regular-season opponent at home by double digits three times.
If the Ravens (10-5) beat the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, they would clinch the sixth and final AFC wild-card spot and play at the AFC East winner in the first round of the playoffs.
The New England Patriots (10-5) would win the AFC East if they defeat the Buffalo Bills at home and the Jets beat the Dolphins. And the New York Jets would win the division if they knock off the Dolphins and the Patriots lose.
By beating the Cowboys, the Ravens continue to control their own destiny but their playoff chances wouldn't end with a loss.
Even if the Jaguars delivered the upset -- Jacksonville has lost five of its past six games -- the Ravens would still reach the postseason if New England falters, too.
The Ravens would own the tiebreaker over the Patriots if they finish with the same record (by virtue of conference record).
They would also have the edge over whichever team loses between the Dolphins (the Ravens won the head-to-head meeting) and the Jets (the Ravens would have the better overall record).
"Bottom line, we're right where we need to be," middle linebacker Ray Lewis said. "One more game and then we can talk about the playoffs."
The Ravens can only hope their path to the playoffs is as clear as their running lanes in a 33-24 victory over the Cowboys on Saturday.
A look at the rushing marks achieved by the Ravens:
The Ravens became the first team in NFL history to record rushing touchdowns of 75 or more yards on consecutive plays, when Willis McGahee ran for a 77-yard touchdown and Le'Ron McClain followed with an 82-yard score.
McClain's 82-yard touchdown was the longest run by a visiting player in Texas Stadium's 37-year history and tied the longest run in Ravens history (Jamal Lewis had an 82-yard touchdown against Cleveland in 2003).
The Ravens' 265 yards rushing was the third most in team history (they had 343 yards against Cleveland in the first meeting in 2003 and 276 yards in the second one).
The Ravens' dominance came against a Dallas defense that had shut down teams on the ground recently. The Cowboys had not allowed more than 80 yards rushing in their previous four games, and they had held teams to fewer than 100 yards in five of the previous six games.
The Ravens produced 174 yards rushing in the fourth quarter alone.
"Our offensive line just kept hammering a great defense and a great defensive front," coach John Harbaugh said. "They finally cracked in the fourth quarter. That's a credit to our offense."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a credit to Derrick Mason. He's one of the toughest players I've ever been around." -- Ravens coach John Harbaugh, on the gutsy effort by WR Derrick Mason, who had six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown despite playing with one arm for most of the game (he re-injured his left shoulder in the first quarter).
TRENDING: The Ravens have won with their ground game this season. Baltimore has gained at least 140 yards rushing in nine of 10 wins this season. The Ravens produced a season-high 265 yards rushing against Dallas on Saturday.
HOT TOPIC: Playoff scenarios and probability