In all the hoopla surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers in the offseason the one factor pointed to was the absence of Ben Roethlisberger. It seemed an almost insurmountable problem for the Steelers, dealing with starting an NFL season without their Super Bowl winning quarterback. Most people, including myself, pegged the Pittsburgh Steelers at maybe 2-2 after four games. Well, they’re obviously going to be better than that after a 3-0 start.
Steelers ticket holders have to be holding their breath this week as the Baltimore Ravens come to Heinz Field. Historically the Ravens have been a thorn in Pittsburgh’s side, but it’s not hard to imagine a scenario that has the Ravens breaking their losing ways at Heinz. Pittsburgh has been winning with a revolving roster of Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch, who have both come through in the clutch. But for the Steelers to beat the Ravens they’ll probably be banking on a dominating defense and the running of Rashard Mendenhall. It’s a formula that brough them to 3-0. Will it work against a very good Ravens defense, a defense that pretty well demands a quality passing game to overcome?
With Roethlisberger expected to be a bit rusty after a long layoff, winning this battle and reaching 4-0 provides some breathing room for any stumbles down the road. Moreover it woulkd give the Steelers some confidence and a major boost for trouble and a tough schedule down the road. It’s a test and it’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out.