Steelers Vs. 49ers: Blackouts, Turnovers Mar 20-3 Loss

The Steelers lost 20-3 in a game punctuated by ... blackouts?

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: Looking Back At Ugly Game For Ben Roethlisberger

The Steelers miss a golden opportunity to seize control of the AFC, as the San Francisco 49ers crush Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: Mewelde Moore, Rashard Mendenhall Injured In Pittsburgh Loss

Two Pittsburgh Steelers running backs suffered injuries in the team's 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, coach Mike Tomlin revealed in his weekly press conference. Mewelde Moore, Tomlin said, sprained an MCL, and his status for Saturday's game against the St. Louis Rams is questionable. In addition, starting running back Rashard Mendenhall bruised his ribs, though he is expected to play Saturday.

If Moore cannot play, however, it would leave a hole on Pittsburgh's depth chart behind Mendenhall, as third-stringer Jonathan Dwyer's season ended when the team placed him on injured reserve. The team could choose to promote John Clay from the practice squad. An undrafted rookie from Wisconsin, Clay has yet to play an NFL snap.

Tomlin also addressed why he left Ben Roethlisberger in the game even after it was out of hand. The Steelers' star quarterback played through a Grade 1 ankle sprain, but Tomlin elected not to pull him simply because he did not want to; he did not elaborate further.

In addition, Tomlin said linebacker LaMarr Woodley needed to come out of Monday's game due to a "fatigued" hamstring, not an injury. The team expects him to play Saturday.

For more on the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: Should Ben Roethlisberger Have Sat Out Against 49ers?

For most of the weekend, and right up until gametime, nobody was sure if Ben Roethlisberger was going to be able to play on the ankle he injured against the Browns last week. Big Ben ended up playing in the game without the aid of a painkilling injection, but he clearly wasn't as effective as he normally is and his four turnovers made the game much easier for the 49ers. Jamison Hensley of ESPN wonders if it was the right decision for Roethlisberger to play.

And, judging by his performance against the 49ers, a hurt Roethlisberger will have trouble getting the job done against playoff teams and the best defenses in the NFL. Roethlisberger committed four turnovers (three interceptions and one fumble) and never got the Steelers within a sniff of the end zone (the closest was the 19-yard line). The 49ers scored 13 of their 20 points off Roethlisberger's turnovers.

Obviously hindsight is 20-20, but based on Big Ben's mobility and comfort in the pocket last night, it seems like he just should not have been out there. And with all the hits he took from Aldon Smith and the rest of the 49ers defense, he didn't get a chance to rehab his ankle at all. Time will tell if this was the right decision.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers Final Score: Ben Roethlisberger's Four Turnovers Lead To Steelers Loss

The Steelers, hobbled by injuries (and one suspension), failed to take advantage of the Ravens’ loss on Sunday, as Pittsburgh lost to the 49ers by a score of 20-3 Monday and fell to 10-4, behind Baltimore in the AFC North.

From the perspective of a Steelers fan, nothing about the game really felt right – it was repeatedly delayed by bizarre blackouts, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hobbled on an injured ankle en route to a four-turnover performance.

Still, the Steelers had a shot. The 49ers managed just two field goals in the first half despite two Roethlisberger interceptions, and the Steelers got a field goal of their own in the third quarter to cut the lead to 6-3. A few minutes later, though, Vernon Davis got a one-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-3.

Then Shaun Suisham missed a long field goal for the Steelers, and Roethlisberger fumbled on the Steelers’ next possession. That gave the 49ers great field position, and they capitalized, with a five-yard touchdown run by Frank Gore. A Tarell Brown interception on a deep ball by Roethlisberger a few minutes later sealed it.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: Ben Roethlisberger Fumble Leads To Frank Gore Touchdown, San Francisco Leads 20-3

The San Francisco 49ers extended their lead to 20-3 with a little more than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter on Monday night. The scoring chance was set up by an Aldon Smith sack and forced fumble of Ben Roethlisberger. Smith grabbed Big Ben by the waist and was driving him to the ground as the ball was knocked loose. Justin Smith recovered the fumble at the Pittsburgh 17 yard line.

Video of the sack below:

It appeared San Francisco's red zone struggles would persist and that the Steeler defense forced a David Akers 28 yard field goal. It looked as if the field goal extended the Niners lead to 16-3, but a questionable unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called on Lawrence Timmons to give San Francisco new life with first and goal. Timmons was whistled for using a defender to try and jump over the line on the field goal attempt.

Two plays later, on second and goal from the five yard line, Frank Gore would bounce off tackle left and bolt into the end zone for the 20-3 San Francisco lead.

Video of Gore's touchdown run below:

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers Score Update: Vernon Davis Touchdown Puts San Francisco Up 13-3 After Three Quarters

With the Pittsburgh Steelers finally ending the shutout with 51-yard field goal, Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers offense quickly responded with a five play, 79-yard touchdown drive to put the Niners up 13-3. Vernon Davis caught a rollout pass from Smith, who sold a great playaction dive into the middle of the line to hit a wide open Davis.

The drive was highlighted by a huge screen to speedy running back Kendall Hunter, who scampered 27 yards down the right sideline and deep into Pittsburgh territory. Smith would find Davis on drag play back across the field just one play later. Davis took the lob and went toward the left pylon but was ruled out of bounds at the one yard line. The two Niners would hook up one play later, however, for the 13-3 lead.

Video of the touchdown below:

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers responded with a quality drive of their own, but came up empty when Shaun Suisham missed a 48-yard field goal attempt. Big Ben hit Jerricho Cotchery who broke through a the San Francisco secondary for a 36-yard gain. But Suisham would miss wide left and the third quarter would end with Niners in front by ten.

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers Score Update: Shaun Suisham 51 Yard Field Goal Ends Shutout, Cuts San Francisco Lead To 6-3

Pittsburgh finally got on the board mid way through the third  quarter on Monday Night Football, with Shaun Suisham connecting on a 51 yard field goal.

The Steelers drove into San Francisco territory on two Ben Roethlisberger completions to Heath Miller. Big Ben hit Miller on a quick wheel route, as the tight end went out and up and lumbered down the right sideline for a 39 yard pickup. Just two plays later, Roethlisberger would connect with Miller for an 11 yard gain as the Steelers crossed midfield into San Francisco territory

On a crucial third and two, it appeared Ben hit Antonio Brown along the Steelers sideline to put Pittsburgh inside the red zone. The catch was ruled incomplete, however, as replay showed Brown's right hand hit the sideline as he tried to drag his right toe on the grass. A Mike Tomlin challenge failed with no conclusive visual evidence to overturn the call.

With fourth and two, Tomlin decided to bring out Shaun Suisham for a 51 yard attempt. The Steelers kicker, whose career long was from 52, snuck it just inside the right upright and cleared the crossbar by about a yard to put Pittsburgh on the board.

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: Pittsburgh Shut Out In First Half, Trails 6-0 On Monday Night Football

After two lengthy delays due to blackouts at Candlestick Park, the Pittsburgh Steelers headed to the locker room trailing the 49ers 6-0 . It was a slow-moving first  half and the Steeler offense was kept off the scoreboard by one of the league's best young defenses. Two Ben Roethlisberger interceptions on the Steelers first two possessions halted one scoring chance and gave San Francisco excellent field position on the other. Big Ben, who is laboring on his bum left ankle, finished the half with 14 completions for 141 yards. Despite the bad ankle, he still dropped back to pass 23 times in the first 30 minutes.

It looked like the Steelers would get on the board on their final drive of the half, but poor clock management forced Pittsburgh to keep Shaun Suisham on the sidelines with Roethlisberger heaving it downfield to Antonio Brown on the final play of the half. The Steelers failed to clock the ball as precious time ticked off in San Francisco territory. Time would expire and the Steelers would go to the locker room with a timeout in their pocket.

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: Second Blackout At Candlestick Park Delays Play In Second Quarter, But James Harrison Entertains Us On Twitter

For the second time on Monday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers were delayed because of blackout at Candlestick Park. The game was delayed about 20 minutes before the lights came back on and play was resumed. While we waited, however, suspended linebacker James Harrison entertained us on twitter:

Via James Harrison's Twitter:

If I cant play then can't nobody play... Lights out!

With the lights back on, the Steelers re-took the field with possession of the ball but their drive stalled at midfield. During both delays tonight, much of the on-air speculation from the talking heads revolved around the "treatment" on Ben Roethlisberger's ankle wearing off during the delays. The delays certainly aren't helpful for the Steelers and Ben's sore ankle, as they are currently being shut out through nearly two quarters of play.

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: San Francisco Takes 6-0 Lead After Ben Roethlisberger's Second Interception

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw his second interception in as many possessions as the first quarter wound down on Monday Night Football. Roethlisberger's ability to move on his bum ankle looks significantly limited. On the second interception, the Niners rushed just three and dropped eight into coverage.

Despite eight men in coverage, Heath Miller did find an opening in the middle deep down the field. Big Ben threw it a little high for Miller and the ball went through his hands and into the arms of Dashon Goldson for San Francisco's second interception. It's the first multi-interception game for Roethlisberger since a Week 1 loss against the Baltimore Ravens. Against the top ranked rushing defense in the NFL, the Steelers will need Big Ben and their wide receivers to step up in the last three quarters.

Video of the second interception below:

For the second time tonight, the Niners took advantage of the turnover on their second possession to convert another David Akers field goal. Akers eclipsed Jerry Rice's team record for most points in a season with the 38-yarder.

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers Score Update: Ben Roethlisberger Starts, Throws Red-Zone Interception On First Drive

The Pittsburgh Steelers took the opening kickoff on Monday Night Football and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger limped onto the field to lead the offense on its first drive. Against one of the best defenses in the league, the Steelers had success moving the ball down the field and into 49ers territory. Roethlisberger found wide receiver Mike Wallace on the sideline on a short pass and the speedy wideout took it 36 yards down the sideline before he was pushed out of bounds.

The drive would abruptly end, however, when Big Ben threw his third red-zone interception of the season. Carlos Rogers picked him off in the middle of the field as he tried to force it into the end zone.

Video of the interception below:

Rogers returned the interception to the 31 yard line. From there, Alex Smith and Frank Gore would move the ball deep into Pittsburgh territory before the Steelers defense stood tall inside the ten and forced a David Akers field goal. Gore carried the ball five times for 25 yards, as the Niners took advantage of the turnover with their longest drive, 17 plays, in three seasons. San Francisco kicker David Akers leads the league in field goals because of the Niners' persistent problems in the red zone.

Ben will hobble onto the field for the Steelers' second possession, looking to bounce back from the red-zone turnover.

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

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Steelers vs. 49ers: Ben Roethlisberger Active For Pittsburgh

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is active for Monday nights game against the 49ers in San Francisco.

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review watched Roethlisberger during a pregame test of his injured ankle and tweeted, "This is painful just to watch. Guy can barely move," at one point but later said the quarterback could be seen walking more briskly outside the Steelers' tunnel.

Kovacevic tweets Pittsburgh's inactives are center Maukice Pouncey, linebacker Chris Carter, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, defensive end Al Woods, cornerback Curtis Brown and tackle Jamon Meredith. Linebacker James Harrison is suspended after an illegal hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy on Dec. 8.

The 49ers' official Twitter account reports quarterback Scott Tolzien, wide receiver Braylon Edwards, cornerback Tramaine Brock, fullback Moran Norris, linebacker Patrick Willis, guard Mike Person and defensive tackle Ian Williams are inactive for San Francisco.

For more on the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog.

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Ben Roethlisberger Injury Update: Pittsburgh Steelers QB 'A True Game-Time Decision' Against San Francisco 49ers

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who's battling a sprained ankle, is "a true game-time decision" for Monday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN. His report contradicts an earlier story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which said the Steelers decided to start Roethlisberger on Sunday, although that decision "had nothing to do with" the Baltimore Ravens' Sunday-night loss to the San Diego Chargers, which left open the possibility that Pittsburgh could with the AFC North and could thus garner a first-round playoff bye.

Roethlisberger only started practicing again Saturday, and even then that was on a limited basis. His backups are the 37-year-old Charlie Batch and four-year veteran Dennis Dixon. Batch has thrown two passes in 2011, completing neither; Dixon has yet to take the field in the 2011 campaign. The former Oregon Duck has completed 35 of 59 passes at the NFL level for one touchdown and two interceptions.

For more on the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: Time, TV Schedule, Radio Streaming And More

The Pittsburgh Steelers will meet the 49ers in San Francisco, looking to solidify their playoff position. The big question will be, is Ben Roethlisberger playing?

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Mike Wallace Fantasy Projection Week 15: Steelers Wide Receiver Looks For Big Night In San Francisco

As the fantasy season winds down, the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to San Francisco with an injured quarterback and a playoff spot already reserved. Will that affect who they play against the 49ers? It's unlikely, as they continue to jockey for seeding position and keep pace with the Baltimore Ravens. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, however, is still questionable to play as he nurses a high ankle sprain sustained more than ten days ago against the Browns.

While the 49ers have far and away the best rushing defense in the league statistically, they are in the bottom half when it comes to passing defense. The health of Roethlisberger is a huge question mark for Mike Wallace fantasy owners. Currently, the fantasy experts at numberFire.com project Wallace to have 8.82 fantasy points against the Niners. That projection puts him just outside the top ten receivers for Week 15, but if Big Ben is unable to go, that projection could change drastically.

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

For more fantasy football coverage, advice, and analysis, please visit SB Nation Fantasy, and follow it on Twitter @SBNationFantasy.

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Ben Roethlisberger Fantasy Projection: How Will Roethlisberger Fare While Playing Through Injury?

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is typically a dependable fantasy play at the quarterback position. He's been fairly consistent year after year with his production from game to game, but his biggest issue is how often he's injured. Roethlisberger's status for the Steelers' Monday-night game against the San Francisco 49ers was up in the air until late Sunday night, when it was revealed that he would play. If Roethlisberger can get through the game, numberFire projects Big Ben to have a typical fantasy day:

19.85/31.97, 224.95 yds, 1.36 TDs, 0.84 INTs for 14.89 pts

While around 15 points from a quarterback in standard scoring leagues is a solid day, the problem is whether or not Roethlisberger's ankle holds up. You're taking a big game, given most leagues are in the thick of their playoffs right now, banking the points from your quarterback on a guy who's hurt and who is playing on Monday Night Football. Roethlisberger has only faced the 49ers one other time in his career, throwing for 160 yards and a touchdown.

For more on the Steelers head over to Behind The Steel Curtain. For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation. Follow the rest of Week 15 at SB Nation NFL.

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Rashard Mendenhall Fantasy Projection Week 15: Mendenhall Faces Top Rush Defense On Monday Night Football

With a playoff berth already locked up on Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers travel across the country to face the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. The Week 15 matchup is full of question marks - particularly at quarterback, where Ben Roethlisberger's status is still up in the air.

Big Ben's status will directly affect how much the Steelers lean on running back Rashard Mendenhall. Currently, the fantasy projection experts at numberFire.com project Mendenhall with a quiet 5.31 fantasy points against the 49ers. Unfortunately for Mendenhall, the Niners have the top ranked rushing defense in the league, having allowed less than 1,000 rushing yards through the first 14 weeks of the season.

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area.

For more fantasy football coverage, advice, and analysis, please visit SB Nation Fantasy, and follow it on Twitter @SBNationFantasy.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: Ben Roethlisberger Will Play Despite Injury

The Post-Gazette reports that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will, in fact, play Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Steelers reached the decision to start Roethlisberger before the Ravens' 34-14 loss to the Chargers that allows the Steelers to win the division title and get a first-round bye if they win their remaining three games.

Roehtlisberger has a Grade 1 ankle sprain and didn't practice all week until Saturday, and even then on a limited basis.

Steelers fans have been on pins and needles about Roethlisberger's status for the past week, but honestly, it comes as no shock that he's playing. Even if the Ravens hadn't won, the Steelers would have had a lot to play for at this point, and Roethlisberger seems to be willing to play through all sorts of pain when there's anything at all on the line. It remains to be seen how effective he'll be, or how his status will affect the Steelers' play-calling.

With the Ravens' loss against the Chargers, the Steelers currently have a half-game lead in the AFC North, and they can take control with a victory over San Francisco, which would also give them a decent shot at the No. 1 playoff seed in the AFC.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Ravens Vs. Chargers Final Score: Baltimore Loss Leaves AFC North Door Open For Steelers

The Baltimore Ravens entered Sunday Night Football atop the AFC North division, with the Pittsburgh Steelers clinching at least a playoff berth thanks to the loss by the New York Jets, it was critical for the Ravens to hold the lead. Unfortunately for Baltimore however, they ran into a buzz saw, also known as the San Diego Chargers. The two teams traded scores early for a 7-7 tie, but in the second quarter the Chargers began to pout it on the Ravens.

The Chargers took a 17-7 lead into halftime and continued in the third quarter to increase their lead. Thanks to a late fourth quarter touchdown by the Ravens, the 34-14 loss doesn't look as bad as it did on the field. Quarterback Joe Flacco struggled to hit anything down the field and turned the ball over multiple times. The loss drops the Ravens to 10-4 with the Steelers having a chance to grab hold of the division.

If the Steelers can knock off the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, they will move into sole possession of first place in the AFC North, with the Ravens falling all the way to the fifth seed. With the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, and Jets all losing, the Steelers and Ravens are guaranteed at least the fifth seed. The real question will be who can hold on to the division crown? The Ravens loss leaves the door wide open for the Steelers. The Steelers have their own concerns however entering Monday Night Football, as the status of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is still unknown. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said, however, that he is "optimistic" Roethlisberger will play.

Obviously without Roethlisberger, taking hold of the AFC North will be a lot tougher, but the Steelers now control their destiny in the division.

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NFL Playoff Picture: Ravens Clinch Playoff Berth Along With Steelers

In the late-afternoon games on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens clinched a playoff berth with losses by the Raiders and Broncos. The loss by the Jets also means both the Steelers and Ravens have clinched at least the fifth seed in the playoffs. The Lions knocked off the Raiders, 28-27, with Matthew Stafford passing for 391 yards and four touchdowns. The Patriots, meanwhile, beat up on the Broncos, 41-23. The Jets lost 45-19 to the Eagles. The Browns lost a meaningless game to the Cardinals in overtime, 20-17.

Here’s a look at the AFC playoff picture as of 7:45 PM Sunday night.

1. Patriots 11-3
2. Ravens 10-3
3. Texans 10-4
4. Broncos 8-6
5. Steelers 10-3
6. Jets 8-6

The Bengals are also 8-6, but it looks like the Jets currently hold the tiebreaker based on strength of victory. Only two playoff spots are up for grabs, as the Pats, Ravens, Steelers and Texans are all now in. The Ravens play Sunday night against the Chargers.

In the NFC, the Packers, 49ers and Saints are all in. Here’s the current seeding.

1. Packers 13-1
2. Saints 11-3
3. 49ers 10-3
4. Cowboys 8-6
5. Falcons 9-5
6. Lions 9-5

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NFL Playoff Scenarios: Steelers Clinch Playoff Berth

The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a playoff spot with the Tennessee Titans’ surprising loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon. The loss puts the Titans at 7-7. The Steelers have three games remaining, the first of which is Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers. It remains to see how they’ll handle them, but both the Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens are 10-3, and all the Steelers have sewn up now is a Wild Card. The Cincinnati Bengals have defeated the St. Louis Rams and are now 8-6, so they have plenty to play for and should have incentive to try extra-hard in their remaining matchup against the Ravens on January 1. The Ravens play the San Diego Chargers Sunday night.

Also, the Carolina Panthers upset the Houston Texans, which increases the likelihood of the eventual AFC North champion getting a top seed.

In other NFL action Sunday, the Chiefs handed the Green Bay Packers their first loss of the season.

Here’s how the AFC playoff seeds would look if the season ended Sunday afternoon:

1. Ravens
2. Patriots
3. Texans
4. Broncos
5. Steelers
6. Jets

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NFL Schedule, Week 15: Steelers Vs. 49ers, Ravens Vs. Chargers, And More

The Steelers don’t take on the 49ers until Monday night, but here’s a look at the NFL schedule for Sunday.

At 1:00, FOX has the Packers and Chiefs, Panthers and Texans, Redskins and Giants, Seahawks and Bears, and Saints and Vikings. Meanwhile, CBS’ games are the Bengals and Rams, Titans and Colts, and Dolphins and Bills.

At 4:05, FOX has the Lions and Raiders. At 4:15, CBS’ games are the Jets and Eagles, Patriots and Bengals, and Browns and Cardinals.

In the Sunday-night game (8:20, NBC), the Ravens take on the Chargers. That’s the one Steelers fans will be glued to – the Steelers can clinch a playoff spot depending on how the earlier games go, but that’s not such an issue, since it would be very difficult for them to fail to get one eventually. If the Ravens lose, though, the Steelers would take over pole position in the AFC North. (Also, it’s just intrinsically fun to see the Ravens lose.)

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers, Injury Update: Maurkice Pouncey 'Not Expected' To Play, According To Report

It appears the Pittsburgh Steelers will be without center Maurkice Pouncey Sunday when the face the 49ers in San Francisco. Pouncey suffered a high ankle sprain in Pittsburgh's 14-3 Week 14 victory over the Cleveland BrownsVia Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Roethlisberger has "a shot" to practice today. If not he won't play. Pouncey not expected to play in SF.
Dec 17 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

For more news and notes on Pittsburgh, be sure to visit SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain. For a look behind enemy lines, check out SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation.

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James Harrison To Miss Game Against 49ers As NFL Upholds One-Game Suspension

James Harrison was suspended for one game this past week after the hit that reportedly gave Colt McCoy a concussion in the Steelers game against the Browns on Thursday. As most players do when facing a suspension, Harrison filed an appeal with the league, and his case was heard yesterday. But the NFL has gotten back to Harrison, and they have elected to uphold that suspension, meaning that Harrison will miss Pittsburgh's Monday night matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.


The Steelers will have a difficult time replacing Harrison, who despite his often times overly-aggressive play, is one of the premier playmakers in all of football. The 49ers have a quarterback in Alex Smith who might become a little inconsistent if the pressure is on him, and the Steelers will be without their best opportunity to do so in Harrison.

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Week 15 NFL Lines And Odds: Steelers Vs. 49ers

The Pittsburgh Steelers will face one of their toughest tests of the Season on Monday night when they face the San Francisco 49ers. Not only will the Steelers enter that game with a somewhat injured QB, but the 49ers need to win this game to maintain any hope that they can overtake the Packers for the first overall seed in the NFC and home field advantage throughout the Playoffs. There's lots on the line in this one.

For a look at the odds for this game, we turn our attentions to our partners at OddsShark.

The Monday Nighter is interesting again after a Week 14 battle between the Seahawks and Rams as the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Steelers play at the San Francisco 49ers.Both teams come off mediocre games, but the 49ers have been one of the most successful Monday Night teams for bettors. In 23 games going back more than a decade, they are 18-4-1 ATS.The 49ers had 10-game ATS win streak as a favorite snapped last week at Arizona. Big Ben's injured ankle will keep the oddsmakers guessing this week, watch the Week 15 line moves closely on this game.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.

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Week 15 NFL Predictions And Picks: Steelers Vs. 49ers

We have to wait until Monday night to watch the Steelers take on the 49ers in the most exciting matchup of Week 15, but it's never too early to look ahead for some picks. Let's take a look around the Internet, starting with USA Today, who has an interesting perspective on the Steelers' chances for success without Ben Roethlisberger.

Wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown might not suffer as much as you think without Roethlisberger. Wallace torched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 100 yards and two TDs when Charlie Batch started in Week 3 of 2010. And since he was drafted in 2004, the Steelers are 8-6 when Roethlisberger hasn't played. And they've actually done better in shootouts when he hasn't played. When opponents have scored 21 or more points, the Steelers are 9-22 with Roethlisberger and 7-4 without him.

Next, NFL Mocks, who kindly picks the Steelers to win.

There are some exciting games in this docket. This game is going to be the hardest hitting, most defensive orientated. The 49ers are at home which will help them, but I think the Steelers have much more variety in their offense which should make them the favorites in this game.

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Steelers Vs. 49ers: In Wake Of Ben Roethlisberger Injury, Dennis Dixon Could Be Activated

The Steelers could activate Dennis Dixon against the 49ers, but that doesn't mean Ben Roethlisberger won't play.

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