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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AFC North: Will Steelers RB Bell stay healthy this season?

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AFC North: Will Steelers RB Bell stay healthy this season?

Here’s a key AFC North question. Will Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell stay healthy?

Bell is without question one of the league’s most talented backs. However, knee injuries have ended his season the past two years, leaving the Steelers without him when they were eliminated from the playoffs.

De’Angelo Williams did a superb job in place of Bell last season, rushing for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns. But Bell is a better pass receiver and more elusive – capable of turning almost any play in to a big play. In 2014, Bell had over 2,000 yards combined from scrimmage – 1,316 yards rushing and 854 yards receiving.

Bell doesn’t want to be labeled as injury-prone, yet some people already view him that way. But at Steelers OTA’s, Bell showed up looking healthy, while vowing not to run cautiously next season.

“I’m going to be physical,” Bell told ESPN.com. “I’m out here with no knee brace or anything, didn’t wear a sleeve or anything. I’ve been training my knee for everything I’m about to go through, so when September gets here I’ll be even better than I am now. That’s even crazy to think about. But I’m excited.”

When Bell has been healthy, putting up numbers has not been a problem. The more Bell plays next season, the better the Steelers’ chances of making the playoffs.

Urschel spends his spring getting straight A's at MIT

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Urschel spends his spring getting straight A's at MIT

If the NFL had an All-Academic team, Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel would be on it.

In February, Urschel began the Ph.D program in mathematics at MIT. How’s he doing so far? Here’s a hint. When it comes to grades, Urschel is only familiar with one letter in the alphabet.

“My first semester in school in nearly three years,” Urschel wroter on Twitter. “Four PhD classes at MIT. Four A’s. The streak continues!!!”

Entering his third season with the Ravens, Urschel has found a way to juggle his love for football with his love for mathematics. He posted an interesting article on The Players Tribune this week in which he described training with the football team at MIT this spring.

“I probably had about 50 or 60 pounds on the biggest guy on MIT’s O-line,” Urschel wrote. “But when we ran, they put me to shame. They could outsprint me.

“What I found is that the team at MIT is no joke. It is a football team – in some ways, more of a football team than any I’d ever seen. These guys love football. They are playing the game because they want to. No one is making them come to practice, no one is checking up on them. They know as well as anyone about head injuries; they know that football is dangerous; they know the feeling of exhaustion and pain. They still play. They don’t do it for money, and they don’t do it for status.

“We talk about dedication and passion in the pros, but the truth is, sometimes the game feels like a job. You start to think of the paycheck. You feel the grind. But training with the team at MIT, I started thinking about what had drawn me to football as a kid. It felt like a game again. I had thought I might have something to teach the team. I never imagined they’d have so much to teach me.”

That guy in the Dos Equis beer commercials might be the most interesting man in the world. But Urschel has built a strong resume as the most interesting player on the Ravens.

RELATED: NFL ANNOUNCES LOCATIONS FOR 2019, 2020 AND 2021 SUPER BOWLS

NFL announces locations for 2019, 2020 and 2021 Super Bowls

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NFL announces locations for 2019, 2020 and 2021 Super Bowls

The NFL has decided on the locations of the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Super Bowls. The vote took place at the NFL owners meetings in Charlotte on Tuesday. 

Atlanta will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019, while South Florida (Miami) will get the event in 2020 and Los Angeles will host in 2021. 

The cities chosen each included new or upgraded stadiums in their pitches to the league. 

Atlanta will be home to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, opening in 2017. 

Miami's stadium (Sun Life Stadium from 2010-2016) is undergoing a $400 million renovation that will include an open-air canopy to provide shade for 92 percent of seats, according to Sports Illustrated. Construction should be complete before the 2017 season. 

And Los Angeles will boast a new 300-acre, campus-style stadium housing the Rams and potentially a second team. The $2.6 billion project will be the most expensive sports arena in the world, reports CNN, and should be ready before the 2019 NFL season.