5 Burning Questions Facing the Steelers as they prepare for the possibility of life without Roethlisberger

Gregory Shamus

Anytime your favorite team faces the possibility of taking on its heated rival without its franchise quarterback, there are going to be many questions that need to be answered. Here are five of them.

1. Considering the very real possibility that the Steelers will be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for their crucial Week 11 prime-time match-up with Baltimore Sunday Night at Heinz Field, do you feel comfortable with the apparent decision to go with Byron Leftwich, who hasn't started an NFL game since 2009, or would you rather Mike Tomlin go with Charlie Batch, who started three games for Pittsburgh in the previous two seasons, including a 27-0 victory over the Rams in Week 16 of last year?

2. Coach Tomlin may not like to speak in hypotheticals, but hypothetically speaking, if the Steelers were to fall to Baltimore sans Roethlisberger this coming Sunday, they would drop two games back in the AFC North with only six weeks remaining. Even with a healthy Roethlisberger starting in Week 12 and another date with the Ravens in Week 13, would two games simply be too many to make up in such a short time-frame?

3. During its current four-game winning-streak, Pittsburgh has had to battle back from deficits of 10 points or more in three of the victories. Also, before the streak, the Steelers had three straight games end on last second field goals. Are all of these dramatic finishes a characteristic of a resilient team or, considering the rash of injuries in 2012, are they a sign of a team teetering on the brink of a disastrous finish to the season?

4. In the wake of New York's dismantling at the hands of the Bengals on Sunday, are you less impressed with Pittsburgh's, 24-20, victory over the Giants in Week 9, or is it just another example of the now famous football adage: "Any given Sunday?"

5. The Steelers play five games within the AFC North over the last seven weeks of the season--including two games against Baltimore in the next three weeks. Given Pittsburgh's current injury situation, would you rather see the NFL schedule-makers spread division games out more evenly over the course of a season, or do you like seeing so many important divisional match-ups in November and December?

That's all for this week, folks. Answer away!

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