Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin has a decision to make in the next few days...does he start a hoppled Ben Roethlisberger on Monday night against the 49ers or does he sit the quarterback so his high ankle sprain can properly heal. The Steelers are a lock to make the playoffs but have a shot to win the AFC North and possibly earn a first round bye in the playoffs. Roethlisberger was heroic in coming out for the 2nd half of the Browns game on Thursday night and leading Pittsburgh to a win over Cleveland. If he plays on Monday night in San Fran he could be hurting the Steelers Super Bowl chances. The 9ers defense is considerably better than the Browns and will do their best to pressure the Steelers all pro. Also playing into Tomlin's thinking is the state of his O-line. Center Maurkice Pouncey also suffered a high ankle sprain and could miss the game on Monday night. If Roethlisberger plays he will be VERY immobile and would be vulnerable to more hits. Tomlin might be wise to let Charlie Batch QB the next 3 games against the 9ers, the sad sack Rams and the Browns. If Roethlisberger sits you've got to figure the Steelers go 2-1 to finish up the season and get the top wild card spot. Pittsburgh would then face the lowest seeded division winner--most likely the Broncos or Raiders--on Jan 7th or 8th on the road in the first round of the playoffs. This gives Roethlisberger almost a month to rehab the ankle and be ready for a post-season run. I know most Steeler fans can't picture Pittsburgh winning another Super Bowl with Charlie Batch calling the signals.
Dallas over Tampa (Sat Night)
Chargers beat the Ravens (Sun WSBA 7:50p)
Eagles fall to Jets (Sun 3:15 WSOX 96.1)
Patriots beat the Broncos
9ers over the Steelers (Monday Night)
Last week 4-1 Overall 54-29