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Baltimore Ravens put dagger into Pittsburgh Steelers playoffs hopes with 20-17 win in Week 16

The Pittsburgh Steelers were unable to get the job done in Week 16 and after the 20-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens see their playoff chances in serious jeopardy.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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The classic Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens rivalry lacked some luster as teams headed into their Week 16 game at M&T Bank Stadium. The Steelers, 9-5, continued their push to the postseason, while the 4-10 Ravens were playing for nothing but pride. On top of team records, some huge marquee names were missing from this AFC North throw down. Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Le'Veon Bell, Maurkice Pouncey and Steve Smith made for a strange dynamic on an oddly warm late December football game.

The Steelers started with the football and rode DeAngelo Williams into Baltimore territory, and Mike Tomlin continued his aggressive style of coaching by going for it on a 4th and short, but the play failed and the Steelers turned the ball over on downs to the Ravens instead of taking points available by the way of a Chris Boswell attempted field goal.

The Ravens started from their own 25-yard line and Ryan Mallett was able to move the Ravens into Pittsburgh territory with ease behind a stout running game. The drive was capped off by a Mallett touchdown pass to Chris Matthews. The Josh Tucker extra point made the score 7-0 with 3:53 left in the first quarter.

The Steelers continued to run the football with efficiency as DeAngelo Williams rushed for 80 yards in the first quarter. To start the second quarter, Ben Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a touchdown, but after review the play was nullified due to Brown juggling the football throughout the catch. The drive would stall in the red-zone, and equated in a Chris Boswell 34-yard field goal to make the score 7-3 Baltimore with 14:48 left in the second quarter.

The Ravens took little time to answer the Steelers field goal as Mallett drove the Ravens' offense into Pittsburgh territory and equated in a Tucker 37-yard field goal to make the score 10-3 Baltimore with 10:01 left in the first half. Pittsburgh was unable to move the ball on their next possession, and Jordan Berry was called on to punt for the first time in the game, giving Baltimore a chance to extend their 7-point lead.

Baltimore punted the football back to Pittsburgh, and the Steelers gave it right back as Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted by Darryl Smith at the Baltimore 45-yard line. The Ravens turned the interception into a Justin Tucker 50-yard field goal to extend their lead 13-3 with 1:21 left in the first half.

Desperately in need of points, Pittsburgh failed to even gain a first down and punted the ball back to Baltimore with 38 seconds left in the second quarter. Baltimore couldn't move into field goal range, and settled to go into halftime with a 13-3 lead, and poised to receive the football after halftime.

To start the second half, the Ravens weren't able to do anything with their first possession of the second half, and the Steelers took the ball and moved down the field, aided by two defensive pass interference penalties on Baltimore, and drew within 3 points after Williams scored from the one-yard line. The Boswell extra point made the score 13-10 with 11:21 left in the third quarterback.

After another Baltimore three-and-out, the Steelers had to punt the ball back as the two teams exchanged possessions. To start the fourth quarter Pittsburgh had the football and another chance to take the lead with a touchdown. Roethlisberger, who was attempting a pass to Antonio Brown, was intercepted for the second time of the game by Jimmy Smith to give Baltimore the ball with 13:00 left in the fourth quarter.

The Ravens and Ryan Mallett took the extra possession and drove down the field to extend their lead to 10 points on a Javorious Allen touchdown run. The Tucker extra point extended the lead to 20-10 with 10:35 left in the game. Pittsburgh moved the ball with ease into Baltimore territory, thanks to some huge passes to Heath Miller, but Pittsburgh fans escaped disaster when Jimmy Smith looked to pick off a Roethlisberger pass and take it 101-yards for a pick-six touchdown, but the Ravens were ruled offsides giving the ball back to Pittsburgh. Two plays later DeAngelo Williams scored his second touchdown of the game to move the Steelers back to within 3-points of the Ravens with 6:33 left in the game.

The Steelers wouldn't get closer than the 20-17 score after Williams' second score of the game, and would fail to convert on 4th and 15 to give the Ravens the win.

Pittsburgh's record is now 9-6, and their playoff hopes are in serious jeopardy with a Week 17 game against the Cleveland Browns up next.