SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers fumbles the ball after being sacked by Aldon Smith #99 and Justin Smith #94 of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Smith recovered the fumble for the 49ers. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Big Ben Struggles As Steelers Fall To Niners 20-3 Following Two Blackout Delays

In a game twice delayed by power outages, Pittsburgh failed to light up the scoreboard. A gimpy Ben Roethlisberger had four turnovers against San Francisco's tenacious defense. For more on this game, check out 49ers blog Niners Nation and Steelers blog Behind The Steel Curtain.

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NFL Playoff Picture: Steelers Fail To Gain Control Of AFC North, 49ers Still In Line For Bye

The Pittsburgh Steelers did more than lose the game on Monday night -- they also lost the chance to move ahead of the Baltimore Ravens into first place in the AFC North. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, remain in the driver's seat to securing a first-round bye in the NFC.  

• The Steelers and Ravens hold identical 10-4 records, but the Ravens hold the tiebreaker advantage by virtue of their two wins in head-to-head play. On the heels of Baltimore's 34-14 loss to the Chargers on Sunday, the Steelers had a perfect opportunity to render Baltimore's tiebreaker moot by gaining a one-game advantage with two left to play. Instead, they're back to where they started, needing Baltimore to lose a game instead of controlling their own destiny.

If the Steelers somehow manage to finish ahead of the Ravens but post the same record as the Houston Texans, the Texans will get the first-round bye thanks to their Week 4 win over Pittsburgh. The Ravens, on the other hand, beat the Texans in Week 6, giving Baltimore the tiebreaker over Houston.

The Ravens face the Cleveland Browns in Baltimore in Week 16 and travel to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17. The Steelers host the Rams in Week 16 and travel to Cleveland in Week 17. 

• As for the 49ers, they've long since clinched the NFC West. They're technically still in the running for the No. 1 seed, but that would require winning out with the Green Bay Packers losing their final two games.

Even so, the 49ers can still clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the Divisional Round if they win their last two games. Like San Francisco, the Saints have a 11-3 record, but the 49ers currently hold the tiebreaker thanks to a one-game advantage in conference play (8-2 vs. 7-3). 

The 49ers finish the season with two road games, at the St. Louis Rams in Week 16 and at the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17. The Saints have two home games against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16 and Carolina Panthers in Week 17.


Steelers Vs. 49ers: Power Outage At Candlestick Park Delays Monday Night Football

The Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers game on Monday Night Football was supposed to kick off just a minute or so ago. But the game hasn't kicked off because the power has gone out in Candlestick Park. As you can see in the lower left corner of ESPN's aerial shot, it appears that a nearby transformer blew, taking out the power in and around the stadium:

Other reporters on the scene report being informed by 49ers personnel that a backup generator is on it's way and power should be restored soon. When the game will actually kick off is another question, because they would need to make sure that the lights will not go out once again.

For more on the Steelers head over to Behind The Steel Curtain. For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation. Follow the rest of Week 15 at SB Nation NFL.

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