BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers had already accomplished their primary goals in the regular season, so the AFC North champions entered the finale against the Baltimore Ravens with a different objective: Stay healthy.
The Steelers sustained a few injuries in their 27-21 loss Sunday, but more important was the fact that several key players -- including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Hines Ward -- were held out to allow their wounds to heal.
Minutes after the game ended, and perhaps well before then, the Steelers turned their attention toward the Jacksonville Jaguars, their opponent Saturday night in the opening round of the postseason.
"Ready or not, here we come," first-year coach Mike Tomlin said. "That's the reality of it. We're a 10-6 team, we won our division, we've got a home game versus the five seed and we look forward to preparing for that."
Pittsburgh could have captured the No. 3 seed by defeating Baltimore, coupled with a loss by San Diego, but the Steelers downplayed that scenario earlier in the week.
It wasn't just idle talk. If this game meant anything to the Steelers, they probably would have played Roethlisberger, Ward, safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback/kick returner Allen Rossum. All were on the inactive list, nursing minor injuries.
Playing for the first time since replacing Roethlisberger in a 38-7 rout of Baltimore on Nov. 5, Charlie Batch went 16-for-31 for 218 yards and two interceptions. Fifty-nine of those yards came on a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 7:13 remaining.
That made it 27-14, and after a successful onside kick, Batch threw a fourth-down TD pass to Cedrick Wilson with 3:36 left.
But the comeback bid ended with an interception by David Pittman in the closing seconds.
Musa Smith ran for 83 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start, helping the Ravens (5-11) earn their first victory since Oct. 14 and end a nine-game losing streak.
"I took a deep breath once we got that interception," Ravens receiver Derrick Mason said. "All that frustration just came out. No matter how the season went, we were able to win our last game, and that's good."
Pittsburgh hopes to be playing well into January. The Steelers didn't show much emotion in the rain while losing in Baltimore for a fifth consecutive season, but they should be far more inspired -- and healthy -- against the Jaguars.
"We played flat. We really didn't get anything going," Wilson said. "We made a few big plays, but at the same time we really didn't execute like we should have."
The Ravens, meanwhile, will enter the offseason without the burden of a franchise-record losing streak that included five defeats by at least 14 points.
"It was great," coach Brian Billick said of the victory. "Hopefully, that's a sign of things to come."
Plagued by turnovers all season, Baltimore took advantage of one to go up 7-0.
Pittsburgh's first possession ended when Batch threw an incomplete pass on a fourth-down play from the Baltimore 32, and the Ravens moved 57 yards before Matt Stover kicked a field goal to make it 10-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Reid lost the ball after slipping on the wet turf. It was ruled a fumble, but a replay reversed the call.
A 32-yard touchdown run by fourth-string running back Cory Ross made it 17-0. Davenport scored from the 1 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter, but Stover kicked a field goal just before halftime to make it 20-7.
A 15-yard pass from rookie Troy Smith to Darling upped the margin to 20 points in the third quarter.
"We didn't start fast. Hopefully this will be a good lesson for us heading into next week," Pittsburgh tight end Heath Miller said. "We've got to start from the opening kickoff and be on top of our game."
Smith, making his second NFL start, went 16-for-27 for 171 yards.
Pittsburgh allowed six rushing TDs this year, three by Baltimore. ... Steelers injuries included T Max Starks (left knee sprain), LB James Harrison (shoulder bruise), CB Bryant McFadden (ankle), Reid (shoulder). ... Mason finished with a team-record 103 catches.
Robert Nkemdiche spoke with Tyrann Mathieu before the draft about dealing with the perceptions that some teams had he has character issues.
SEC Network's Paul Finebaum reflects on the sad and disturbing state of Johnny Manziel's decline.
The Saints were wise to lock up their 24-year-old left tackle before he was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017.
The Buffalo Bills and left tackle Cordy Glenn have agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $65 million, with $36 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Could the New York Jets keep four quarterbacks? The last team to open the season with four quarterbacks was the Washington Redskins in 2013.
The NFLPA has received more time to decide whether to file written arguments in its appeal to overturn Tom Brady's four-game Deflategate suspension imposed by the NFL.