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Ravens 27, Steelers 21

December 31, 2007|From the Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The Pittsburgh Steelers were not interested in gaining the No. 3 seeding in the AFC playoffs, nor did they care about generating momentum for the postseason.

Their primary objective against the Baltimore Ravens was merely to keep several key starters healthy, a goal that was assured before the opening kickoff of Pittsburgh's 27-21 loss.

Musa Smith ran for 83 yards and a score in his first NFL start, helping the Ravens (5-11) earn their first win since Oct. 14 and end a nine-game losing streak.

The Steelers (10-6) had already clinched the AFC North title and were locked into a wild-card game at home.

Pittsburgh will open the playoffs Saturday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Playing for the first time since replacing Ben Roethlisberger in a 38-7 rout of Baltimore on Nov. 5, Charlie Batch went 16 for 31 for 218 yards and two interceptions. Fifty-nine of those yards came on a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 7:13 left.

Quoteworthy: "We've got to start from the opening kickoff and be on top of our game." -- Heath Miller, Steelers tight end

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