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Steelers' loss to 49ers lands Ravens back in driver's seat

  • By Marc Sessler
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Ravens coach John Harbaugh better dig down deep to match the holiday gift he received from his brother, Jim, on Monday night.

When Jim's 49ers crushed the Steelers (10-4) on national television, control of the AFC North shifted back to the Ravens (10-4), who can secure a first-round playoff bye with wins over the Browns and Bengals.

Pittsburgh's implosion dulled the pain of Baltimore's bitter loss at San Diego on Sunday. But with the good vibe restored, the Ravens' coach was seen barreling around the team complex with a fire in his belly Tuesday.

"(John) was coming in and saying, 'Hey, did you see that game last night? Who won? Who won?' We were like, 'OK, we all know who won the game. We know you're way more excited now than you were two days ago,' " quarterback Joe Flacco told The Baltimore Sun, before admitting he never turned the TV on (really, Joe?).

"He didn't know where to go with it once I told him I didn't watch the game," Flacco said. "He was a little confused, but you could definitely tell that he was excited. We should be excited. We're obviously in a better position because of what happened (Monday) night."

The Ravens' otherwise successful campaign has been blemished by a series of beguiling losses this season. They now control their own destiny, and there's extreme motivation to host -- not visit -- Pittsburgh in a playoff game, should the rivals meet again.


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