Friday, November 03, 2006

Broncos v. Steelers (what are the chances?)

Last I heard the Steelers were favored by three points over the Denver Broncos. Nevertheless, The Steelyard gives the Steelers only a 35 percent chance of defeating Denver on Sunday. Fact is: Until QB Ben Roethlisberger returns to reasonably good health, Big Ben and the Steelers figure to continue to struggle.

What The Steelyard can't understand is why head coach Bill Cowher and the team's physicians have allowed Big Ben to "play through" his most recent physical ailments. I'm shocked he was given medical clearance to play at Jacksonville and again last week at Oakland. He didn't appear to be physically up to the task in either game.

At any rate, Big Ben's struggles have only exacerbated the perception that he's "overrated," and that the success he experienced during his first two seasons was largely due to the fact that he plays on a "good team." Yes, he plays on a good team, but certainly not a great team. And yes, his teammates often carried him during his 14-1 rookie season. But last year, he carried the Steelers with his passing and had one of the all-time great playoff runs before finally staggering to a Super Bowl title.

Personally, I believe that Big Ben's struggles are all health-related, and when he returns to reasonably good health he'll play up to the level to which Steelers fans have become accustomed. In the meantime, if Cowher allows him to play the results will probably be sub-par.


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