22 Sep 2004
Some people gave the Steelers a legitimate chance of making the playoffs before Tommy Maddox was injured last week. Now their fate lies in the hands of rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger. The last rookie QB to start a game for the Steelers was Bubby Brister back in 1986 (ouch) replacing an injured Mark Malone (double ouch). The last rookie to start a playoff game in the NFL was Shaun King (he was 4-1 in the regular season) in 2000. Of course Roethlisberger doesn't have the same defense that King had, so who knows how successful he'll be. Either way, John Clayton makes the point that like Byron Leftwich, Roethlisberger may struggle because the majority of his college snaps were out of the shotgun.
This year's update to the playoff drive stats show that the football gods may have been on Peyton Manning's side this time. Also: Cam Newton and Alex Smith enter the mix, and why we should be comparing Andrew Luck to Dan Marino.