Thanks to their win Sunday over the Denver Broncos, the Pittsburgh Steelers still control their own destiny when it comes to them making the playoffs this year. In fact, if the Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens Sunday and the New York Jets lose to the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh will secure a playoff spot in Week 16.
The Steelers will play the Ravens on the road next weekend and they opened up as 9.5-point favorites over a banged-up Baltimore team that could be without the services of cornerback Jimmy Smith as he suffered a thigh injury in his team’s Week 15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s also too early to tell who will play quarterback for the Ravens against the Steelers. Sunday, Jimmy Clausen made his second-straight start and while he did throw for 281 yards against the Chiefs, he was intercepted twice during the game. Clausen got the start over fellow veteran quarterback Matt Schaub, who had missed last week’s game with a chest injury. Schaub was dressed and active against the Chiefs.
“I thought Jimmy played really well,” head coach John Harbaugh said after Sunday’s game. “Give him credit. … The interception for the touchdown, the receiver fell down. He threw it in the right spot. The other one, he probably wants back. But, he made a bunch of plays with his feet, with his arm. He operated really well with the offense. I thought he did a good job.”
The Steelers lost to the Ravens back in Week 4 thanks to two late missed field goals by former kicker Josh Scobee. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Martavis Bryant both also failed to play in that 23-20 overtime loss.
After opening up as 9.5-point favorites, most online sportsbooks have the Steelers favored by 10 points.