Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Win Out

The good news is that the entire AFL North lost on Sunday, including the Cincinatti Bengals. The bad news is that this included the Steelers.

Barring a Bengals collapse, the Steelers' best shot at the playoffs is still a Wild Card, and though nobody can predict the wins and losses, ups and downs of the remainder of this season, for the Steelers to even be in a position to control their own destiny, they probably need to win out.

They are limping into Baltimore, where it's always been tough, after two losses and with important injuries. Big Ben had a "mild concussion" and so has to be considered iffy, though he's practiced and expects to play. His veteran backup, Charlie Batch, is definitely out, with a broken wrist. His backup for this game is Dennis Dixon, untried at the position. But then, so was Ben when he had to come in for an injured starter. Maybe even worse, Troy Polamalu is out. The defense has won without him, but they are so much better and less predictable with him on the field. It's going to be a tough, tense game, and unfortunately it's on Sunday night, so I've got no excuse not to watch it. This is the kind of game they win in a championship season, or even a playoff year.

The big game that they've already talked to death on the sports shows is New England v. New Orleans, the 10-0 Saints' real test. Monday night to boot.

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