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Thread: Benching Big Ben was Tomlin's gamble, and it might pay off later

      
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    Default Benching Big Ben was Tomlin's gamble, and it might pay off later

    Benching Big Ben was Tomlin's gamble, and it might pay off later
    11/30/2009

    BALTIMORE - Dennis Dixon has a cockiness about him that borders on arrogance. It's an arrogance honed over years of being the best athlete on pretty much every team he's played on.

    It's also something needed to compete in the NFL.

    What Dixon did not have until lining up under center Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens was a lot of NFL experience.

    Getting your first NFL start at quarterback against the Ravens in Baltimore and on national television is not exactly an ideal situation. But it was the situation Dixon was thrust into when Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made the call to sit Ben Roethlisberger for this critical AFC North game.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Make no mistake, it was Tomlin's call to sit Roethlisberger.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Steelers like to say that the expectations don't change when a starter is replaced by a reserve because of injury. And injuries are a big part of the NFL.

    But replacing a quarterback who has led you to two Super Bowl titles is different from replacing a defensive end.

    The expectations do change.

    Since Roethlisberger joined the Steelers as a rookie in 2004, they are 6-2 against the Ravens when he starts. Entering last night's game, they were 0-3 against the Ravens during that same period in games started by another quarterback.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]This was a calculated risk by Tomlin.

    At best, the Steelers would improve to 7-4.

    At worst, the Steelers would come out of the week at 6-5, tied with Baltimore in the AFC North standings and two games behind first-place Cincinnati, a 16-7 winner over Cleveland Sunday. But the Bengals, barring a monumental collapse, have pretty much wrapped up the division by sweeping the Steelers and Ravens.

    Neither team can win a tiebreaker against the Bengals, making a division title unlikely.

    That leaves the Steelers and Ravens each playing for a wild card spot in the playoffs, making their rematch Dec. 27 in Pittsburgh a crucial game for both teams.[/HIGH-LIGHT]


    The Steelers should win their next three games - Oakland and Green Bay at home, and Cleveland on the road - to set up that rematch. Those are sub-.500 teams.

    Baltimore, which faces the Packers, Lions and Bears, should also be 9-5 heading to Pittsburgh two days after Christmas.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]That probably played a big part in Tomlin's decision to sit Roethlisberger. He decided to take one step back to go two forward down the road.

    If the Steelers get Roethlisberger and strong safety Troy Polamalu back next week, as is expected, they are a very dangerous team.

    And if they win the remainder of their games, the Steelers will be in the playoffs, where nobody would relish a game against the defending Super Bowl champions.

    If they lose the rematch with the Ravens at Heinz Field next month, well, then they don't belong in the playoffs.[/HIGH-LIGHT]


    http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/...-Ravens-column
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    Kipper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Benching Big Ben was Tomlin's gamble, and it might pay off later

    If they lose the rematch with the Ravens at Heinz Field next month, well, then they don't belong in the playoffs.
    Pretty much it. If the Steelers don't win out the rest of this schedule which is weak, they don't deserve to make the playoffs. not only is every game now a "Must-Win" but they are all against much lesser opponents

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    Default Re: Benching Big Ben was Tomlin's gamble, and it might pay off later

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Pretty much it. If the Steelers don't win out the rest of this schedule which is weak, they don't deserve to make the playoffs. not only is every game now a "Must-Win" but they are all against much lesser opponents
    Exactly.... Besides, this team might do good with it's back against the wall.... We'll see.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Benching Big Ben was Tomlin's gamble, and it might pay off later

    Its time to look towards next week ,one game season from here on out ,i think we win out _im not so sure ravens will beat pack.

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