Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger Looking to Start Late Season Surge

Eric WordContributor IDecember 6, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 09: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 09, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Steelers are down, but definitely not out.

As a matter of fact, they've been in this position before. The year was 2005, week 13 of the regular season. The Steelers hold a 7-5 record with four games left to play. Things aren't looking bright, but then, it happens. They go on to win their final four games to finish the regular season at 11-5, and comfortably secure a wild card birth. The momentum carries over into the playoffs as they complete an improbable three game playoff run on their road to Super Bowl 40, eventually winning, 21-10.

It's almost exactly the same time of year, almost exactly the same record, with almost exactly the same mindset. With Coach Tomlin promising to "unleash hell" in December, it seems as if the Steelers will attempt a repeat of the 2005 year, and an attempt at a second straight Super Bowl victory.

With the return of QB Ben Roethlisberger and LG Chris Kemoeatu today against the Raiders, things are looking to be right on track. Although still missing All-Pro safety Troy Polamlu, who is expected to return within the next couple of weeks, the defense is looking to be as fierce as ever. Ty Carter is proving to be an adequate fill-in for the injured Polamalu.

With the end of the regular season closing in very quickly, the Steelers have no choice but to produce wins, and fast.

The Steelers have five games left, three of which are at home (Raiders, Packers, Ravens, @Browns, @Dolphins). With the return of key playmakers, this late season surge seems as likely as ever.