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Week 16 NFL Predictions And Picks: Can The Steelers Still Land A First Round Bye?

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be facing the St. Louis Rams this week with another opportunity to gain some ground on the Ravens and the other elite teams in the AFC. Here is a game pick from Emmanuel Pepis at NOLA.com

It's not a question of whether or not the Steelers can win these last two games without Ben Roethlisberger. It's a question of what they'll do anyway. Do they rest Roethlisberger for the post-season? Plus, James Harrison will return, and consider that the Steelers didn't play poorly on defense against San Francisco. They were done in by turnovers, and shorter fields to defend.

PITTSBURGH-28 ST. LOUIS-10

The Ravens will be in competition with the aforementioned Ravens and the Patriots for that top spot. Pepis picks the Patriots to win convincingly over the Dolphins this week, and here is his take on the Ravens game.

After watching Ray Lewis return, and the Ravens still get stomped, it makes you see why Baltimore is not considered a serious enough contender for the Super Bowl. In games where that defense struggles early against better offenses, Joe Flacco has to make plays, and again he did not last week. The task gets easier against Cleveland who wound up falling after getting off to a solid start against Arizona. Lost in the shuffle was that the Ravens made life tough for Ryan Mathews early, but just got worn down.

BALTIMORE-27 CLEVELAND-7

For more on the Steelers, please visit Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Steelers blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation St. Louis and Turf Show Times, SB Nation's Rams blog.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.