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Ravens earn AFC's final wild-card spot with win and Chargers' loss

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The Baltimore Ravens are back in the playoffs.

Baltimore made the postseason in the first five years with John Harbaugh as coach and Joe Flacco at quarterback, winning the 2012 championship. They failed to get in last season, but a 20-10 victory Sunday, combined with San Diego's 19-7 loss at Kansas City, did the trick.

The Ravens (10-6, the same record they had in their Super Bowl season), earned a wild card and will be seeded sixth in the AFC.

AFC East champion New England (12-4) owns home-field advantage in the conference and will be off next weekend. Denver, the West winner, also will have a bye if it wins Sunday against Oakland.

The AFC North champion will be determined in the Sunday night game, with Cincinnati (10-4-1) at Pittsburgh (10-5). The loser gets a wild-card berth and plays at South champion Indianapolis. The winner hosts the Ravens.

PHOTO: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Baltimore. Baltimore won 20-10. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Baltimore. Baltimore won 20-10. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

The NFC North and South divisions will be decided later Sunday, with Detroit at Green Bay for the North title. The winner of that matchup gets a bye.

Atlanta (6-9) was hosting Carolina (6-8-1) for the South crown, meaning a team with a losing record will win a division for only the second time; Seattle took the NFC West in 2010 at 7-9.

The defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks played St. Louis, and a victory would give them the top seed in the NFC.

Dallas, which beat Washington 44-17 on Sunday to finish 12-4, owns the NFC East crown. It likely will host a wild-card game next weekend, as will the South winner.

Arizona, which was at San Francisco, already has at least a wild-card spot. A Cardinals win and a Seahawks defeat would give Arizona the NFC West title.


AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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