A look ahead...
Well, the Steelers lose Ben for some undetermined time and potentially Ryan Clark. Polamalu hasn't played in 4 or 5 weeks and Harrison is still working back into shape. Currently, as the playoff picture sits the Steelers are a wildcard team and are two games ahead of the 7th, 8th and 9th place teams and 2.5 games ahead of the 10th pace team.
Each of the teams that are out of the playoffs have 7 games to play except the 10th who has 6 games to play. If the Steelers can find 4 wins and get to 10-6 the other teams will have to go 6-1 except for the 10th place team who would have to go 6-0 to get to 10 wins. I have no idea how the tie-breakers would shake out, but right now the Steelers are sitting in a good position even with Ben injured. Hopefully, Ben's shoulder isn't horrible and that he will be able to go should the Steelers make the playoffs.
The teams on the outside looking in at the playoffs in order are Chargers (Broncos, Ravens, Steelers), Dolphins (Pats twice, 49ers), Bengals (Steelers, Ravens) and Titans (Texans, Colts and Packers). Each team has two potential losses in their final 6 or 7 games and the Bengals have the easiest schedule remaining IMO.
Now, where are the 4 wins coming from under the condition that Lefty has to play the final 7 games?
Best bets for three of the wins would be Browns (2) and Bengals, the fourth win might have to be the Chargers or Cowboys, hopefully, both are cooked by the time the Steelers play them.
This is the worst case scenario in which Ben doesn't play another regular season game this year.
If we're the #6 seed, it's very possible we'd have to go play in Denver without Ryan Clark...again.
Four wins without Ben will be a challenge. As we saw last night we are just too inconsistent and we don't have the dominant defense anymore we had 4-5 years ago that could carry the team. Before Ben got hurt I really though we could go 6-1 the rest of the way and beat the Raven twice. Now I think 3-3 may be a reach.
Bottom line is if Ben is out for the season we are likely looking at another first round play-off departure if we even make the play-offs.
I guess Ben missing games for the birth of his son is no longer an issue!
Just remember the teams behind us have flaws even with their best players on the field. I think the Steelers can get the O-line, defense and special teams (they played well last night) to carry them to 4 wins. I also don't believe for a second that Ben is done for the rest of the regular season until someone tells me that's the case. I think Lefty, the defense, running game and special teams can win 4 games, I'm just not sure which 4.
Originally Posted by papillon
I hope you are right but I saw nothing last night in that terrible performance that would make me believe that could happen.
Lefty came in cold, and the Chiefs defense was playing well. Steelers were probably looking past this game and the Chiefs were playing not to be embarrassed on national tv.
Gotta have faith that the Oline and Def step it up this week and going forward until Ben returns.
Without any reps in practice, not having played for any length of time in a couple of years and a defense that was frustrating the Steelers all night, I though Lefty did okay. This week with a week of work under his belt and a game plan designed for him he'll be better. Dixon stepped in a couple years ago and almost pulled one out against the Ravens. Lefty is a better quarterback than Dixon. The Steelers can win games with Lefty at quarterback; the season isn't over, have faith.
Originally Posted by Oviedo
I remember a few years ago there were some who were calling for Lefty to start over Ben. Now we have people who think Lefty doesn't have what it takes to win. While Lefty isn't in Ben's league he can still play some football and put a "W" up on the scoreboard.
The weather conditions were also such that it limited a lot of what the team could do effectively on O.
Originally Posted by RKSteel
And dont forget, last night we were without our MVP from last year, Antonio Brown. I think Ben would not have had to hold the ball as long as he was if AB were out there running routes as well. Plus Rainey seemed to be playing a VERY limited role last night. We had our 4th string kick returner out there last night.
And if Ben is healthy I believe we can beat Denver even without Clark. The Oline is playing better than they did at the start of the year and we could even have DeCastro in the mix too my then. And Wallace came into that first game with very little practice (no camp). And Will Allen has really come on. If Troy can just get healthy til then then all the better.