Roethlisberger Proves He's Essential

AP Photo

So how much is Ben Roethlisberger worth to the Steelers?

Seven points, for starters. The Steelers opened as 3 1/2-point favorites before they played the Baltimore Ravens Nov. 18. They became 3 1/2-point underdogs when it was announced Roethlisberger would miss the game with a shoulder/rib injury.

Two games, certainly. The Steelers would have beaten the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns Sunday if Roethlisberger had played. I have no doubt they would be 8-3 instead of 6-5.

The season, perhaps. The Steelers aren't going to catch the Ravens in the AFC North Division race, but they still can make the playoffs as a wild-card team in the lame AFC. It's going to take a healthy Roethlisberger, though.

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