The Pittsburgh Steelers rested their ailing quarterback but still managed to get the victory they needed to keep pace in the AFC North with a 27-0 home win over the St. Louis Rams on Saturday at Heinz Field.
The Steelers (11-4) remained tied with Baltimore atop the division, but the Ravens swept the season series and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
AFC's No. 1 seed even without Ben Roethlisberger, who handed the reins to Charlie Batch and rested his high ankle sprain.
Batch didn't do much - he passed for 208 yards with no touchdowns and an interception - but a strong running game helped him improve to 5-2 as a starter in seven seasons with the Steelers.
Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, only his second 100-yard game of the season and his first since he racked up 146 yards in a home win over Jacksonville in Week 6.
Pittsburgh rookie John Clay scored a 10-yard touchdown on his first career carry in the second quarter, and Isaac Redman added a 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Rams (2-13) also were without their starting quarterback, as Sam Bradford sat out a fifth consecutive game with a high ankle sprain of his own. Kellen Clemens made his second straight start - and the 11th of his career - but was ineffective with only 91 yards on 9-of-24 passing.
St. Louis' Steven Jackson had a big game on the ground, rushing for 103 yards on 24 carries to push him over 1,000 yards for the seventh consecutive season - the longest streak in team history. He is the seventh player in NFL history with seven straight 1,000-yard campaigns.
Jackson is the first opposing back to top 100 yards against the Steelers since Houston's Arian Foster rushed for 155 yards against them in Week 4.
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown passed two milestones, going over 1,000 receiving yards to break Barry Foster's franchise record for all-purpose yards in a season (2,048).
Even without Big Ben, the Steelers run over the Rams
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