The Baltimore Ravens were already one of the best teams in the AFC going into Week 7 and unfortunately for the other 15 teams in the conference, the Ravens got a lot better on Thursday after acquiring Yannick Ngakoue in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings. 

The addition of Ngakoue will instantly bolster a Ravens defense that was already doing a pretty solid job this year. Through six weeks, the Ravens have racked up 22 sacks, which ranks second in the NFL, and now they get to add Ngakoue, who tallied five sacks in five starts with the Vikings. 

Not only did the trade bolster Baltimore’s defense, but it also bolstered their Super Bowl odds. According to the numbers from SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh, Baltimore’s chances of winning the Super Bowl went up from 19.7% to 20.9%.

That  might not sound like a huge jump, but when you consider that 12 of the AFC’s 16 teams don’t even have a 2% chance of winning the Super Bowl, it puts into perspective how much the addition of Ngakoue could potentially mean to the AFC playoff race. 

The Ravens’ chances of winning the AFC title also jumped, going from 30% to 31.4%. More importantly, the Ravens continued to put some distance between themselves and the AFC’s other top contenders. 

In the AFC North, the Steelers’ chances of winning the division dropped by 1.1% (from 50.5% to 49.4%). Although they’re still ahead of the Ravens (49.3% chance of winning the division), the SportsLine projections now have them a in a virtual tie following the trade. Before the deal, the Steelers had a 1.8% better chance of winning the division. 

The Steelers’ chances of winning the AFC title also dropped after the trade from 21% to 20.6%. Thanks to the deal, the Ravens went from having a 9% better chance over Pittsburgh of winning the AFC title to a 10.8% better chance. The Ravens also now have an 8.6% better chance than the Steelers of winning the Super Bowl, a number that was just 7.3% before the trade. 

The Ravens’ Super Bowl chances also took a nice jump compared to the Chiefs. After the deal went down, Kansas City’s chances of winning the Super Bowl fell from 16.3% to 16.1%. The Ravens now have a 4.8% better chance than the Chiefs of winning the Super Bowl, a number that was just 3.4% before the trade.

You can read more about how the trade affected the Super Bowl odds over at SportsLine.

The point here is that every move matters, and now teams like the Steelers and Chiefs will have just over 10 days to try and make a move of their own. The NFL trade deadline is set for Nov. 3, and it will be interesting to see if any other AFC contenders decide to pull the trigger on a deal before it hits. 

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