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Roethlisberger hurt, Steelers survive Chiefs 16-13

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Roethlisberger hurt, Steelers survive Chiefs 16-13

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers are right where they expected to be heading into a vital three-week stretch that includes two games against the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens.

They're just not sure quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be along for the ride.

The Steelers survived a scare from lowly Kansas City on Monday night, winning 16-13 in overtime when Lawrence Timmons intercepted Matt Cassel on the second snap of the extra session and Shaun Suisham hit a 23-yard field goal one play later.

It took some of the sting out of watching Roethlisberger head to the locker room - and ultimately the hospital - with a busted right shoulder after getting slammed to the turf by a pair of Kansas City linebackers in the third quarter.

Coach Mike Tomlin declined to speculate on Roethlisberger's status, though backup Byron Leftwich sounds like he's planning to be pretty busy over the next few days.

``I don't know the situation with Ben, but I got to make sure I'm ready if he can't go,'' Leftwich said.

The Steelers (6-3) have won four straight and can move into first place next week if they can beat the Ravens (7-2). The showdown takes on a different hue with Roethlisberger's health in question.

``You obviously worry about it because that's your starting quarterback, you want to see him out there,'' Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison said. ``But at the same point in time you've got a guy, two guys that are behind him can do the job just as well if not better.''

Roethlisberger completed 9 of 18 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown before leaving. Leftwich, playing for the first time in the regular season in nearly two years, completed 7 of 14 passes for 73 yards and led the Steelers to a go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter.

``After four or five plays, it was like riding a bike,'' Leftwich said. ``I took a few hits. I hadn't hit the ground in a while. It was a whole lot of things I hadn't done in a while. It was good.''

Even if Roethlisberger was not. Tackle Max Starks didn't think the notoriously gritty Roethlisberger was in any real danger when he stood up after getting sandwiched between Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.

``It didn't seem like a tough hit ... but he came to the sideline and next thing you know he was gone,'' Starks said. ``I'm hoping it was nothing serious. Honestly it didn't seem like it.''

While the Steelers ponder their postseason prospects with Roethlisberger uncertain, the Chiefs (1-8) are simply wondering when they're going to win another game.

Jamaal Charles ran for 100 yards and a score but couldn't stop Kansas City from dropping its sixth straight.

The Chiefs had their chances, taking their first lead in regulation all season in the first half then overcoming a series of embarrassing miscues to tie the game at 13 at the end of regulation.

Taking over at the Kansas City 20 with 1:51 remaining, Cassel led the Chiefs 52 yards - converting a fourth-and-15 in the process - to set up a 46-yard field goal by Ryan Succop as time expired.

``I thought our guys played and competed all night long,'' Cassel said. ``We went up against a good football team and unfortunately we weren't able to pull it out in the end, but I thought the way the guys handled the environment of Monday Night Football was great.''

Kansas City's only other victory this season came in overtime, a stunning upset in New Orleans in September. Any chance at a repeat faded when Cassel's pass on the second play of extra period landed in the hands of Timmons, who returned it 23 yards to set up Suisham's second game-winning field goal of the season.

It was sweet vindication for a Pittsburgh defense that allowed AFC lesser lights Tennessee and Oakland mount fourth-quarter comebacks earlier this season. Though the Steelers only managed to get the Chiefs - last in the NFL in turnover differential - to cough it up once, timing is everything.

``We got the one that count baby,'' linebacker Larry Foote said. ``We got the one that count. They did a good job tonight, but we got the one that was big time.''

NOTES: The Steelers have won 15 consecutive home games on Monday night ... Roethlisberger topped 1,000 career rushing yards with a 13-yard scramble in the first half ... Pittsburgh S Ryan Clark left the game in the fourth quarter with a concussion.

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Offensive, defensive and rookie of the year awards for Ravens' 2017 season

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USA Today Sports

Offensive, defensive and rookie of the year awards for Ravens' 2017 season

The Ravens' season had it's ups and down, but out of it came some bright spots.

The defense continued to prove dominate and the offense found its groove during the second half of the season, but who stood out the most?

Offensive MVP: RB Alex Collins

Collins was a late preseason pickup after being cut by the Seattle Seahawks and Ravens fans are grateful they let him go. After new acquisition Danny Woodhead injured his hamstring on the first drive in Week 1 and Terrance West injured his calf Week 5 in Oakland, Allen emerged as a saving grace. He finished the season with 973 yards, six touchdowns and 212 attempts averaging 4.6 yards-per-carry. His longest rushing attempt was 50-yards against the Steelers in Week 4, and then in Week 14, rushed 120-yards on their defense. 

RELATED: RAVENS' 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT ROUNDUP

Defensive MVP: OLB Terrell Suggs

This one was a toss up between Suggs and inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, but considering the level at which Sizzle is playing at in his 15th season, his 2017 performance is MVP worthy.

The 35-year old finished the season with 49 combined tackles, 12 assist, 11 sacks and four forced fumbles. Suggs ranks 11th in the league in sacks and was voted to his seventh Pro Bowl, something that should be expected from the leader of a defense that finished the regular season ranked sixth in points allowed. During the Ravens' Week 12 matchup, Suggs proved he doesn't age when he strip sacked Texans QB Tom Savage with 4:44 remaining in the fourth, shifting the momentum back to the Ravens who were clinging on to a 23-16 win. He's suffered two Achilles tears and a torn bicep over the last 5.5 seasons but has remained Hall of Fame worthy. As of right now, T-Sizzle has no plans of retiring. 

RELATED: FIVE OFFSEASON QUESTIONS RAVENS MUST ANSWER

Rookie of the Year: CB Marlon Humphrey

The Ravens' 2017 first-round pick stepped up to the plate when starting CB Jimmy Smith's season was over after suffering a torn Achilles in Week 13. The rookie out of Alabama finished the season with 34 combined tackles, four assists and two interceptions. Pro Football Focus graded Humphrey the fifth-best cover corner in the league. QBs only had a 53.5 rating when they threw in his direction. PFF also gave Humphrey a 82.7 rookie rating. 

Humphrey will continue to prove his worth during the 2018 season if Jimmy Smith is still recovering come Week 1.

RELATED: IMPORTANT 2018 OFFSEASON DATES

Special Teams MVP: P Sam Koch

Koch is in his 12th season with the Ravens and he's continuing to prove how efficient that leg of his is. He had a season long of 67-yards and placed 40 of 84 punts inside the 20-yard line. Koch's accuracy earned him AFC special teams player of the week not once, but twice this season. The first came in Week 12 against the Houston Texans when he not only placed five punts inside the 20-yard line, but also faked a punt and threw a 22-yard pass to Chris Moore for a first down. The second honor came in Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns after placing four punts inside the 20-yard line, three of them inside the five. While neither Koch or kicker Justin Tucker were named to the Pro Bowl, Ravens fans never break a sweat when the game is in their hands, or should we say, legs.

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Important 2018 offseason dates for Baltimore Ravens

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USA Today Sports

Important 2018 offseason dates for Baltimore Ravens

Mark your calendars now because the Ravens are already gearing up for their 2018 season.

From the Pro-Bowl all the way to the start of the regular season, here are the key dates.

January 28th: Pro Bowl, Orlando, Fla. 

Safety Eric Weddle, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and inside linebacker C.J. Mosley will all be in attendance. In addition, Suggs and Weddle were named starters. The game will take place at Camping World Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:00 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN.

February 3rd: Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 Class announced

This will be a very important day for Ray Lewis and the Ravens organization as Lewis waits to here if he will be sealed into football history, one day prior to Super Bowl LII. 

February 5th: Waiver system takes effect

The waiver system allows players' contracts or a club's NFL rights to a player available to other clubs in the league. Upon doing this, the other 31 teams can place a claim to obtain him or waive their chance. During this 24- hour period, once a club waives a player it can not take the player back or change his status. Assignments are based upon draft order until the third week of the regular season. If a player does not get claimed, he becomes a free agent. 

February 20th:  First day to franchise or transition tag a player

February 27th- March 5th: NFL Scouting Combine, Indianapolis, IN

This seven day period will be crucial for General Manager Ozzie Newsome to get a good look at potential Ravens.

March 6th: Deadline to franchise or transition tag a player

March 12-14th: Teams are allowed to contact and negotiate with agents of players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents

March 14th: Start of new league year at 4:00 p.m. ET

At this time, all 2017 player contracts expire meaning teams can begin seeking and signing free agents. Ravens free agents include Mike Wallace, Benjamin Watson, Ryan Jensen, Terrance West, James Hurst, Michael Campanaro, Steven Johnson, Ryan Mallet, Brandon Boykin, Crockett Gillmore, Brent Urban and Luke Bowanko.

March 25-28th: Owners Meeting, Orlando, FL

April 16th: Voluntary OTA's can begin

April 20th: Deadline for restricted FA's to sign offer sheets

April 26th-28th: 2018 NFL Draft, Arlington, TX

The Ravens will be heading down to Arlington, Texas in hopes of picking up their next franchise player. Positions needed include wide receiver, tight end, quarterback and outside linebacker.

May 4-7th or 11-14th: Potential three-day rookie minicamp

May 31-June 2nd: Ravens Beach Bash, Ocean City, MD

July 16th: Deadline to get long-term deal done with designated franchise tag player 

Mid-Late July: Training camp begins

August 2nd: Hall of Fame Game, Canton, OH

August 4th: Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Canton, OH

Again, keep this date marked as it could be the day Ray Lewis is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

September 6th: Start of regular season