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Steelers at Ravens Preview Capsule

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With two games remaining on the 2015 regular season schedule, the Steelers have moved themselves into a playoff spot. Now they have to take care of business on the road.

Over the past several seasons, Mike Tomlin’s Steelers have become known for a few things – among them: they win in December, but they often lose to inferior teams. Winners of 10 consecutive games in the month of December, the Steelers cannot afford a stumble in their final two games against two of the worst teams in the AFC when they travel to Baltimore and Cleveland. If they do, their playoffs hopes could vanish as quickly as Antonio Brown slicing through opposing defenses.

Pittsburgh (9-5) at Baltimore (4-10)
Sunday, Dec. 27
1 PM on CBS
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Md.

What’s on the Line: The Steelers, now sitting in the sixth spot in the AFC playoff tournament, can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a New York Jets loss against the New England Patriots. Pittsburgh could potentially move into the fifth seed if they win out and get a little help. A Steelers loss, coupled with a Jets win, could prove to be disastrous.

Key Player: Baltimore QBs Matt Schaub, Jimmy Clausen or Ryan Mallett. The Steelers-Ravens rivalry has historically come down to field goals. The first meeting this year was no exception. However, the only certainty at quarterback for the Ravens is that Joe Flacco—out with a torn ACL—won’t be in the lineup. Matt Schaub has missed two straight games with chest and shoulder injuries, Jimmy Clausen started twice in his place but has produced only two touchdowns, and Ryan Mallett is still in the process of learning the offense. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh might wait until Sunday to announce the starter.

Of Note: This will be the first time in Joe Flacco’s career that he has missed a game against the Steelers.

Injury Report: Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore (back) is likely done for the season. Wide receiver Marlon Brown (back) and linebacker Albert McClellan (knee) have missed time and are doubtful to make it back on the field by Sunday. Tackle Ricky Wagner played every snap against Kansas City last Sunday but has missed time with a knee injury this week. Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who left in the first quarter last Sunday with a thigh bruise, also missed practice on Wednesday but "has a good chance to play" against Pittsburgh, according to Harbaugh.

The only significant Steelers injury is to safety Mike Mitchell. The veteran defensive back, who has been playing his best football of the season despite knee and shoulder injuries, re-injured his shoulder in the win over Denver and will be limited in practice this week.

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