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Ravens vs. Steelers staff picks: Who will win Sunday’s regular-season finale?

Jen Badie, editor

Steelers 24, Ravens 21: Robert Griffin III is a more-than-competent backup quarterback, but he isn’t Lamar Jackson. The Steelers defense is still ranked No. 5 in yards allowed per game, is tied for first in the league in takeaways and sacked Jackson five times during their first meeting. But I’m going with the Steelers only because Jackson, Mark Ingram II and other key Ravens aren’t playing, and this game actually means something to Pittsburgh’s postseason hopes, which are barely hanging by a thread.

C.J. Doon, editor

Ravens 21, Steelers 17: Even with Robert Griffin III starting, there’s no reason to think this Ravens winning streak will come to an end. Yes, the Steelers are fighting for their playoff lives, but with Mason Rudolph out, Pittsburgh will be relying on rookie Devlin Hodges and former first-round bust Paxton Lynch at quarterback. The Ravens coaching staff has proven it’s among the best in the league, and you can bet John Harbaugh would love to beat Mike Tomlin short-handed.

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Daniel Oyefusi, reporter

Steelers 23, Ravens 20: If the Ravens had anything to play for this weekend, I’d likely take them in a rout. But with multiple starters sitting, and likely more key players seeing fewer snaps, this matchup becomes a lot more even. The Steelers need a win and a Titans loss to get in the playoffs. I’m inclined to take the more desperate team that has everything to play for.

Mike Preston, columnist

Steelers 21, Ravens 17: The Steelers have to win and the Ravens don’t. That motivation should be enough to carry the Steelers to victory, even though their offense is inept. Pittsburgh’s defense is strong enough to put the Steelers over the top in a game in which the Ravens are playing without quarterback Lamar Jackson, running back Mark Ingram II and guard Marshal Yanda.

Peter Schmuck, columnist

Ravens 19, Steelers 16: Though the Ravens will be holding back a ton of talent, they won’t be overmatched by the Steelers and they will be able to squeak by and add to their franchise unprecedented 11-game winning streak. Robert Griffin III hasn’t played much, but he’s still better than either of the quarterbacks that might play for Pittsburgh. It’ll be a big day for kicker Justin Tucker.

Jonas Shaffer, reporter

Ravens 17, Steelers 14: Pittsburgh nearly beat the Ravens when Lamar Jackson was still playing, so why pick against the Steelers now? Because Devlin Hodges can’t be trusted to do much on the road with stakes this high. There’s an aura around this Ravens team, and you have to believe the coaching staff’s eager to knock a rival out of playoff contention.

Childs Walker, reporter

Steelers 16, Ravens 13: The Ravens haven’t given anyone a reason to pick against them for the last two months, but they’ve finally played their way into a game they don’t need to win. The Steelers struggle to move the ball and score, but their defense keeps them competitive week after week. Between their last-chance desperation and talented front seven, they’ll have just enough to get by the resting Ravens in a plodding game.

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