Looking at the Steelers schedule, they are already 0-4. Missing Ben Roethlisberger for the first 4 games of the season is going to hinder the playoff chances for the Steelers. Byron Leftwich is not the answer for this team and it will show throughout the first few weeks of the season. The question is "Can the Steelers overcome the bad start that they will have?"
When Ben Roethlisberger returns from his suspension, the Steelers will be facing a very difficult schedule. The Steelers will need to go AT LEAST 8-4 with the return of Roethlisberger. That is going to be a tough task.
Luckily, the Steelers will face the Cleveland Browns twice, which will be 2 out of the 8 wins needed. They beat Oakland, Carolina, Buffalo and Cincinnati twice, but who is the other team that they are able to beat? They will not beat New England, New Orleans, New York Jets, or Baltimore.
That leaves the Miami Dolphins in week 7. This will end up being the biggest game on the schedule for the Pittsburgh Steelers. If the Steelers lose in week 7 to the Dolphins, then playoff hopes are ruined, if they win they stay alive.
Being that this is a week 7 game and only the second game of the season for Roethlisberger, compared to a Miami Dolphin team that will have 6 games as team under their belt, I see this being a very close competition. The Steelers are the better team, but I do not believe they will be able to beat the Dolphins, that early in the season under those circumstances.
When all is said and done, the Steelers will be a 7-9 team and miss the playoffs. Will this be the end of the road for Big Ben in Pittsburgh if that happens? Who will be taking the blame? This will be an interesting story line to follow throughout the 2010 season.