Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Charlie Batch had a rough start in Week 12 against the Cleveland Browns, throwing for only 199 yards and three interceptions in a game that Steelers fans and Batch would probably like to forget.
Because of the poor performance, rumor around Pittsburgh had it that Ben Roethlisberger was going to attempt to suit up for the Steelers' huge showdown with the Ravens in Baltimore. However, that rumor was quickly quelled on Friday when it was announced that Roethlisberger was ruled out of the contest (per ESPN.com).
However Batch bounced back against the Ravens, leading the Steelers to 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter as Pittsburgh eeked out a last-second victory.
It might only be just one game, but it also proves that Batch would be more than capable to carry Pittsburgh until Roethlisberger is truly ready to return.
How would you grade Pittsburgh's chances of getting into the playoffs with Charlie Batch at quarterback?
Batch's day was a good one by any measure. Not only did the Steelers get the victory, but Batch threw for 276 yards and a touchdown. Because of the win, the Steelers are not only still firmly entrenched in the AFC playoff race, but also find themselves only two games behind the Ravens for first place in the AFC North with four games left to go.
The Steelers also play three of their final four games at home, with two of them coming against division rivals. In Week 14 the Steelers host the San Diego Chargers, a team that has struggled all season and has lost eight out of their last 10 games.
After San Diego, the Steelers will have two difficult games against the Cowboys in Dallas and the Bengals at home. Considering how well Batch played against Baltimore on the road, it's safe to assume that Batch is more than able to meet the challenge of holding Roethlisberger's place at quarterback and steering the Steelers into the postseason.
Pittsburgh won't make any noise in January without Ben Roethlisberger; however, in order to get to the postseason, their best bet is to allow Batch to guide them there. This is a challenge that Batch has already proven he is ready for, and one he will likely succeed in overcoming. There's no reason to risk further injury to Roethlisberger when Batch is more than capable.