Things are looking grim for Ben Roethlisberger, and possibly the Steelers’ division title hopes. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is currently out of action with an injured shoulder and rib, the latter of which could kill him if he returns to action too soon. And now, doctors have prognosticated that Roethlisberger will miss at least the next three games.. And that’s the “best-case scenario”, according to the doctors. It’s quite possible Roethlisberger will miss the next month, or even more time beyond that.
The Steelers are currently 6-3, and only one game behind the Ravens (7-2). In order to win the division, they’ll likely have to beat Baltimore at least once, but they play both of their games against the Ravens in the next three weeks ( they host Baltimore tonight, then play Cleveland next week, then travel to Baltimore the week after that). If the doctors are correct, then the Steelers will be sans Roethlisberger for both of those important divisional games against the Ravens.
Roethlisberger was playing at a Pro Bowl caliber level before he got hurt, and its likely that the longer he’s out, the dimmer the Steelers’ chance is of winning the AFC North, or even making the playoffs. Byron Leftwich will start in Roethlisberger’s stead. Keep in mind, this is a team that’s already missing one of its best receivers in Antonio Brown, and key defender Troy Polamalu. Pittsburgh’s proven to be a resilient team, but losing their franchise quarterback for an extended amount of time might be too much for their division title and playoff hopes.
There are 23 modern-era quarterbacks in the NFL that have been honored with an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I was able to visit Canton last year, and it’s really quite a spectacular place. It’s an honor for anyone to have themselves immortalized, and their bust mantled to a wall with the greatest members from the NFL’s long, storied history. As the years go on, there will be more and more players elected to the Hall. That goes without saying. The problem with that is the constant talk of players who are playing now that are being discussed as being worthy of the Hall of Fame. Continue reading
Author’s note: This is the 3rd part of a mini-series highlighting the best playoff games since 2000. If you would like to read The Top 5 Divisional Round Games, click here, or if you would like to read The Top 5 Championship Games, click here. The shameless plug is over now, to the article we go.
We have come to the end of our little mini-series, and I must say, it has been fun, and a lot simpler than I thought. Now that you have presumably read, or clicked on the links above to the previous articles, I must admit: there have been a lot of bad playoff games these past twelve years. Trying to find five quality games for the Championship Game column was like pulling teeth because trust me, there was only five. If you asked me what the sixth best game would have been, my answer would be a tie between every other game.
However, this mini-series has been pretty enjoyable for me, since I really started becoming a true football fan around 2000. Looking back for this Super Bowl list has made me realize that we as football fans have been extremely spoiled this past decade or so. There has been a plethora of very entertaining, close Super Bowls.
Just to put it into perspective, in the ten Super Bowls played between 1990-1999, there were two decided by seven points or less (Giants vs. Bills, Broncos vs. Packers). Since 2000, we have had seven that meet the same criteria. Narrowing those games down to five was extremely difficult. It was so difficult, that I refused to do it. Continue reading
As is the norm in sports, current superstars will always be compared to those of yesteryear. I have watched Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger since he entered the league in 2004 and became the savior of the team under center. Growing up, I was obviously a football fanatic, and who can forget the Broncos legendary quarterback and warrior, John Elway. The parallels between these two signal callers are almost scary: toughness, clutch gene, the ability to extend plays, comeback victories, and wearing #7. Just as Tom Brady has drawn comparisons to the great Joe Montana, I think the quarterback of today that most resembles John Elway is Big Ben. Let’s break it down.
The NFL playoffs are a whole ‘nother beast, as some say. It is a time when players shine or fold, coaches are lauded or vilified, and owners are elated or upset, depending on the outcomes of games. The media also loves to blow storylines way out of proportion and all of the sudden, non-football fans have a vested interest in which team wins.
There is something to be said about rooting for the underdogs. Rocky Balboa, the Americans in the Revolutionary War, Women’s Suffrage, but in a lesser form, the playoffs bring out natural underdogs. This year, that comes in the form of San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith.
So I’ve had three days to let it sink in that my beloved Steelers were “Tebowed.” As all the die-hard members of Steeler Nation know, we take losses pretty hard. But we shouldn’t take this one to heart.. And I have several reasons why. I’m not one for making excuses, the Steelers win as a team and lose as a team.
First let me say hats off to Tim Tebow. I will in no fashion undermine how well he played in that game. The Steelers dared him to throw; not only did he throw, he threw for 316 yards on a mere 10 completions. The irony in this is that Pittsburgh led the league in yards allowed per completions this season, as well as letting up the least amount of plays of 30+ yards.