Why the Steelers Made the Right Decision by Sitting out Ben Roethlisberger

Chris TrapassoAnalyst INovember 30, 2012

November 18, 2012; Pittsburgh , PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) walks on the field during a break in the action against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Ravens won the game, 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE

The Pittsburgh Steelers made the correct decision regarding Ben Roethlisberger.

According to Albert Breer of NFL.com, Big Ben has been ruled out for Week 13's matchup with the Baltimore Ravens with the same shoulder and rib injuries that have kept him out of the Steelers' last two games. 

Ravens-Steelers clashes are currently the gold standard in NFL rivalry, biannual bloodbaths between perennial AFC contenders, outings that always seem to carry significant playoff implications. 

With Pittsburgh tenuously holding onto the final wild-card spot at 6-5, coming off consecutive losses, some believe Mike Tomlin's team is in such a state of desperation that Roethlisberger should play this meaningful game. 

Not so fast. 

We're in Week 13, not Week 17. The playoff berth isn't on the line this weekend. 

Sure, with Charlie Batch under center, another loss to the divisional-leading rival seems significantly more likely. But as psychologically damaging as a defeat may be, Pittsburgh was smart to hold out its franchise signal-caller of this one. 

As mediocre as the AFC is this year, 6-6 won't mark the end of the Steelers' playoff hopes. 

They need Roethlisberger—a healthier Roethlisberger—over the last month of the season more than they do on Sunday. 

With three of the last four at home, the Steelers actually will be in a good position to grab one of the two wild-card spots. 

Sometimes, allowing a guy as tough as Big Ben to play can inspire a team and lead to a memorable victory. 

But the risk is was too high for the Steelers quarterback, and they intelligently will give him more time to heal before likely inserting him into the lineup against the San Diego Chargers in Week 14 or Dallas Cowboys in Week 15.