Ravens balancing health with pride for Steelers matchup - BaltimoreSports.com
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Ravens balancing health with pride for Steelers matchup

OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens and Steelers matchup is one of the most hard-fought rivalries in the NFL.

Pittsburgh has won six of their last seven meetings against the Ravens, and the past 10 games between the teams have been decided by one score.

The teams meet again Saturday in the regular-season finale and the dynamics are much different than in previous years.

The Ravens have clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, and coach John Harbaugh will give a number of players the day off, including quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The Steelers are still fighting for a spot in the postseason and need a win with some help to extend their season.

Harbaugh said the game is still meaningful to his team.

“There’s no lack of motivation for sure,” he said. “Just because, first of all, it’s an NFL game, and the guys playing in the game are going to be giving it all they have. You have to. And the guys playing the game want to win each play, and they want to win the game. They’re going to play their very best. They’re going to play as hard as they possibly can.

“The other part of it is, we’re playing a division rival, so you know what goes with that. They know us, we know them. We know what it’s going to take to win a game like this. Then it’s Pittsburgh, all those things factor in.” 

Ravens cornerback Kevon Seymour (25) is congratulated after recovering a fumble against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Acrisure Stadium. The Steelers won 17-10. By Philip G. Pavely-USA Today Sports

The Ravens have a number players dealing with injuries who could watch from the sideline, including wide receivers Zay Flowers (calf), guard Kevin Zeitler (quad/knee), safety Kyle Hamilton (knee) and cornerback Marlon Humphrey (calf). Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. also might sit out.

Harbaugh said the team is still deciding who will be active on game day.

“It’s like a puzzle except the puzzle pieces are constantly morphing into different shapes day by day,” Harbaugh said. “So, by Saturday, I’m sure it will all fit together.” 

The Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 30-23 win over the Seahawks on Sunday. It was Pittsburgh’s first win over Seattle since 1983.

Pittsburgh has to beat Baltimore and needs the Dolphins to defeat the Bills, or the Titans to defeat or tie the Jaguars (9-7) to make the postseason.

The Steelers scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and beat the Ravens, 17-10, in Week 5.

“We’re just gonna play the game Saturday and watch the games on Sunday,” said Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, who will get the start over Kenny Pickett. “Hopefully, we do our job right and if we get what we need in the games on Sunday, we’ll get [another game], so that’s all that I’m focused on.”

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