It's quite unlucky to be 9-3 through 13 weeks and not be the top seed of your conference.
But the AFC is logjammed at the summit, with the Baltimore Ravens currently receiving the short end of the stick.
Lamar Jackson and Co., despite having the quality and numbers of a top-five offense and defense, need some pieces to fall into place to be the AFC's top seed.
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Despite being 9-3, the Ravens currently are the No. 2 seed behind the Miami Dolphins, who are also 9-3. The Jacksonville Jaguars failed to grab the top spot after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.
Why is that the case? Let's dig into it:
Why are the Ravens not the No. 1 seed in the AFC?
Never let anyone say regular-season games don't matter. Win or lose, they do. But it also matters who you win or lose to.
The Ravens not being the AFC's No. 1 seed simply boils down to conference record. Baltimore's three losses have come within the conference: Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
Miami has just two conference losses, which came versus Buffalo and Kansas City. Its other loss came versus Philadelphia.
Who is the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2023?
Through 13 weeks, the current No. 1 seed in the AFC is the Miami Dolphins with a 9-3 record.
Will the Ravens and Dolphins play one another in 2023?
The Ravens could change their own destiny in the final weeks, as they play Miami at home in Week 17.