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Ravens tonight -- as close to must-win as it gets

* Import of game.  Division lead in AFC North.  A win ties the Ravens for the lead with Pittsburgh and Cleveland, all three would be 5-3.  A loss puts Baltimore in a real bad spot not only for the division but for a wild card.  A 4-4 record certainly doesn't eliminate the Ravens from contention but it would make them 1-4 in the conference, a nightmare when you start figuring tie-breaker possibilities.  And the Colts and the Patriots are down the road.

*  Big plus for Ravens.  Offense is intact again, especially the offensive line.  McNair has had three weeks to rest.  Todd Heap is back.

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*  Main concern for Ravens -- cornerback.  Samari Rolle, who has been out for much of the  season, didn't make the trip to Pittsburgh.  Chris McAlister (knee) has been listed as doubtful.  If McAlister doesn't play, the Ravens are in a real fix in the nickel.

*  The Steelers haven't lost a home game on Monday night in more than 16 years and are 3-0 at home this season.

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*  Steve McNair is 11-4 lifetime against Pittsburgh.

*  Last year, Steelers RB Willie Parker rushed for just 50 yards on 23 total carries.  QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked 12 times and threw four interceptions in the two games.

Photo credit: Orlin Wagner/AP

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