If Ben Roethlisberger Injury Is Serious, AFC North Will Be Up For Grabs

Ben Roethlisberger suffered a knee injury midway through the Pittsburgh Steelers loss today at Miami. And while he was able to return, the injury will require an MRI to determine its severity. If the results come back showing any significant damage, the NFC North will be completely up for grabs.

As reported by the NFL, Roethlisberger will undergo an MRI on his sore knee, injured in the second quarter against Miami. And as the article stated, Big Ben is the key to the Steelers winning the NFC North.

“The 34-year-old is obviously the driving force behind a powerful Pittsburgh offense and has been playing better than just about any quarterback in football over the last month. So far in the month of October, he’s had 680 yards passing, nine touchdowns and just one interception, with a completion percentage above 70.”

Without Roethlisberger, the Steelers lost to a Dolphins team that had barely beaten Pittsburgh’s fellow NFC North rival the Cleveland Browns a few weeks ago. Before today, that was their only victory.

Meanwhile for Pittsburgh, the loss moves the Steelers to 4-2 for the year, one win ahead of the Baltimore Ravens, who fell to the NY Giants at the Meadowlands 27-23. Roethlisberger finished the day with 189 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions on 19-of-34 passing.

Speaking of the Ravens, they had started out the season 3-0 but have since dropped three straight, including today’s loss to the Giants. According to the Baltimore Sun, the biggest play of the game wasn’t Odell Beckham’s 75-yard TD reception to seal the win. Instead it was an injury sustained by their cornerback earlier in the game.

“The biggest play of the game was the one in which cornerback Jimmy Smith sustained a concussion. With him off the field in the second half, Odell Beckham Jr. had two long touchdown receptions and 211 yards receiving. That’s not to say Smith would have shut the electric Beckham down. But he would have fared far better than Shareece Wright, Will Davis and Tavon Young.”

Indeed, the Ravens were torched in the second half by Beckham who scored two long touchdowns en route to 222 yards receiving. But it was his final catch of the day that put the Giants up for good when he outran three Ravens defenders the length of the field to put New York up 27-23. The Ravens, despite having almost two minutes and a timeout remaining, were unable to answer and fell to 3-3.

The Cincinnati Bengals, meanwhile, also suffered a similar fate, only their tormentor was Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski, who returned to form against the Bengals, finishing with 162 yards receiving and a touchdown. It also helped that the man throwing him the ball was Tom Brady and not an unproven rookie or third-year quarterback.

“I felt a lot better out there this week, just throughout the week,” Gronkowski said after New England’s victory as reported by Sports Illustrated. “Just was improving every single day, every single week. Now I’m getting back to my old self, so it feels great.”

As for the Bengals, the loss drops them to 2-4 and second to last place in the division. Of course, with the injury to Ben Roethlisberger, it’s possible that the team can rally and regain their position as the leaders of the division as they were last year. And at the very least they can consider themselves fortunate to play the Cleveland Browns twice, who right now sit at 0-6.

[Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]

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