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NFL Capsule: Steelers at Ravens

NFL Capsule: Steelers at Ravens

PITTSBURGH (6-5) At BALTIMORE (9-2)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE - OFF

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Pittsburgh 5-6; Baltimore 5-6

SERIES RECORD - Steelers lead 18-15

AP PRO32 RANKING - Steelers No. 14, Ravens No. 6

LAST MEETING - Ravens beat Steelers 13-10, Nov. 18

LAST WEEK - Steelers lost to Browns 20-14, Ravens beat Chargers 16-13 OT

STEELERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (19T), RUSH (22), PASS (13)

STEELERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (1), RUSH (5), PASS (1)

RAVENS OFFENSE - OVERALL (16), RUSH (12), PASS (11)

RAVENS DEFENSE - OVERALL (24), RUSH (26), PASS (23)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Second meeting of AFC North rivals in span of three weeks. Ravens won first encounter 13-10. ... Six of last seven regular-season games between teams have been decided by three points. ... Ravens seeking second straight season sweep of Steelers. Baltimore has won five of seven. ... Baltimore has won 15 straight at home since Pittsburgh's 13-10 victory on Dec. 5, 2010. ... Steelers uncertain whether Ben Roethlisberger or Charlie Batch will start at QB. Batch 5-3 as starter with Pittsburgh, 24-30 overall. ... Pittsburgh's league-leading defense allowing 257.2 yards per game. ... Steelers LB James Harrison (61 sacks) passed Joey Porter for second-most sacks in team history behind Jason Gildon (77). ... Pittsburgh had season-high four sacks last week vs. Browns and forced 10 punts. ... Steelers S Troy Polamalu expected to return from right calf injury after missing nine of first 11 games. ... Ravens can clinch playoff berth with win, and can clinch second straight AFC North title with win and Cincinnati loss in San Diego. ... Baltimore has won four straight and eight of nine. ... Ravens' only touchdown against Steelers two weeks ago was on punt return by Jacoby Jones. ... Baltimore has allowed only nine passing TDs, lowest in league. ... Ravens have won 12 in row against AFC North foes, longest current divisional run in NFL. ... Baltimore RB Ray Rice has only two touchdowns and 471 yards rushing in eight games against Steelers. ... Baltimore 9-1 when WR Torrey Smith scores touchdown. He has seven TDs this year, tying output as a rookie. ... Ravens WR Anquan Boldin needs 87 yards receiving to reach 10,000 for career. ... Ravens LB Paul Kruger has four sacks in last three games.

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Report: Boldin to sign with Lions

Report: Boldin to sign with Lions

Former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin is back for a 14th season.

Boldin, who turns 36 in October, will sign a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. In Detroit, Boldin will be reunited with Lions coach Jim Caldwell, who became the Ravens offensive coordinator during their run to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season.

The Lions had a major void at wide receiver with All-Pro Calvin Johnson's retirement.

RELATED: RAVENS AGREE TO ONE-YEAR DEAL WITH OL JAKE LONG

A former second-round draft pick, Boldin spent seven seasons with the Cardinals before the Ravens traded for him in 2010. In three seasons with the Ravens, Boldin averaged 62 catches and 882 yards. He came up huge in the 2012 playoff run, with a team-best 22 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns. He had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl win over the 49ers.

After that Super Bowl run, though, Boldin was traded to the 49ers for a sixth-round draft pick. Boldin led the 49ers in catches and receiving yards in each of the past three years. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the 49ers in 2013 and 2014, leading many to question the Ravens decision to trade him. Last season, Boldin led the 49ers with 69 catches for 789 yards.

Boldin enters this season ranked 17th in NFL history with 13,195 receiving yards. One of the few players ahead of him is current Ravens receiver Steve Smith Sr., who ranks 11th (13,392). Boldin last season became the 13th player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions and now has 1,009. Smith, incidentally, needs 39 catches this season join Boldin in the 1,000-catch club.

MORE RAVENS: RETURNING PUNTS KEY FOR 3 RAVENS WR'S ON BUBBLE

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Ravens agree to one-year deal with former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long

Ravens agree to one-year deal with former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long

The Ravens are expected to sign veteran offensive lineman Jake Long after he flies into Baltimore on Tuesday night, CSN has confirmed. The impending Long-Ravens deal was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, who reported that Long and the Ravens had agreed to a one-year deal. That contract is expected to be signed if there were no last-minute concerns once Long arrived in town.

Long is a former Pro Bowl left tackle with the Dolphins who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft. He spent five seasons with the Dolphins, before joining the Rams for two seasons, then playing four games with the Falcons last season. Long is still only 31 years old, but he has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, including two torn ACL’s.

The Ravens view Long as insurance at left tackle to as a backup to first-round pick Ronnie Stanley. While the Ravens believe Stanley can handle the starting job, the Ravens were left thin at the position after releasing veteran Eugene Monroe, who has since retired. James Hurst has been the Ravens’ backup left tackle, but in Long, the Ravens would have a more experienced option should Stanley struggle or suffer an injury.

RELATED: RETURNING PUNTS KEY FOR 3 RAVENS WR'S ON BUBBLE

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For three Ravens WR's on bubble, returning punts could be key

For three Ravens WR's on bubble, returning punts could be key

The Ravens don’t know who their primary punt returner will be, but they have plenty of options heading into training camp.

Keenan Reynolds, Michael Campanaro, and Kaelin Clay should all get reps returning punts. All three of those wide receivers are on the roster bubble, making their contributions on special teams even more important.

Campanaro has shown he can contribute as a wide receiver when he’s healthy.  However, avoiding injuries has been a major issue for Campanaro during his first two seasons.

The Ravens would prefer their punt returner to help the 53-man roster in another capacity, which may give Campanaro an edge. But if Campanaro, Reynolds, and Clay are not among the top six wide receivers when final cuts have to be made, will the Ravens decide to keep any of them strictly for their ability to return punts?

Reynolds will be a popular storyline during camp, as he tries to make the transition from Navy quarterback to NFL wide receiver. If Reynolds shows promise as a receiver, it will increase his chances of making the team, because his speed and ability to change direction will likely translate well to returning punts. Meanwhile, Clay had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Browns last season, so he has already shown explosiveness as a returner.

Figuring out their best option for returning punts is one of many things on the Ravens’ to-do list, with the first full-squad practice scheduled for Thursday.