On Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Miami Dolphins by a score of 30-15. This was an unexpected loss that not only affected them in the standings but also with their personnel. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered an injury that will keep him out for the time being. As a result, the Steelers will need to rely on their backup quarterback to run the offense, and their defense to step it up. Due to a very tough upcoming schedule, it looks like the Steelers can be in for a struggle. However, if the rest of the team performs at a high level, the team might be able to survive this difficult stretch and still make the playoffs.
Coming into the Miami game with a 4-1 record, the Steelers looked to improve on and extend their lead in the AFC North division. After establishing an 8-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Dolphins took control of the game. Miami score a touchdown and two field goals to make the score 16-8 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Steelers were shut out while the Dolphins scored another seven to make the score 23-8. Both teams struck in the fourth quarter, and with a final score of 30-15, the Steelers were soundly defeated by a mediocre team that they should have beaten.
Losing the game was not the only bad news for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a torn meniscus that required surgery, which will keep him sidelined with no set timetable to return. The best case scenario right now is having him back after their Week 8 bye. This would only have Big Ben missing one game, but who knows what type of condition he will be in if he plays Week 9 in Baltimore. They will need to rely on backup quarterback Landry Jones to lead their talented offense against the Patriots this Sunday, which will be nearly impossible for a QB stepping in midseason. He is confident that he will be able to help the Steelers win games. Jones has recently stated that he is better suited for being a starting quarterback.
In terms of their long term chances, the Steelers will need to get solid production from their running game and defense. This will be necessary to complement the play of backup quarterback Landry Jones, and possibly a banged up Big Ben. If the defense improves their level of performance along with running the ball effectively, they will likely survive this stretch and stay in contention. Due to the injury to Roethlisberger, it is most likely that the Steelers will reach the playoffs as a wild card team with 9 or 10 wins.