Don’t make the Football Gods angry. You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry. Clearly, the NFL’s illustrious commissioner ran afoul of them with his harebrained proposal to increase the schedule to 18 games. And the Football Gods have shown the Ginger Dictator who’s boss.
A little less than a week ago, I featured a guest post by my good buddy Hennessey. The theme of his piece was, “What would the Pittsburgh Steelers do if they lost Ben Roethlisberger?” Stay calm, Steeler Nation, Big Ben is fine. However, that post turned out to be an eerie prediction of things to come for a number of other NFL teams.
Hennessey, if you’re reading this, hook a brother up with this week’s Lotto numbers?
When the story of the 2011 season is written, yesterday will be known as Black Monday. Two AFC teams with playoff aspirations lost their starting quarterbacks for the year. Matt Cassel of the Kansas City Chiefs suffered “a hand injury” which appears to be very serious. The Houston Texans’ Matt Schaub has suffered a Lisfranc injury which is a fancy way of saying he hurt his foot really really bad. Then there is the Dream Team, the Philadelphia Eagles, who revealed their quarterback had two broken ribs which would likely keep him out of action indefinitely.
I don’t wish injury on anybody (except Michael Vick. Seriously, f*ck him.) but these injuries blow an already topsy-turvy AFC wide open. After the Ratbirds epic fail against Seattle, a lot of so-called experts were jumping on the Texans bandwagon. And understandably so, after all they pretty convincingly whupped the Steelers back in week four. But now the Texans have lost their starting QB and their best defensive player (Mario Williams) and are placing all their hopes and dreams in the hands of beer-bong legend Matt Leinart. MATT LEINART!?!?!
The Chiefs were in the hunt for an AFC West title and may have been potential playoff opponents. They will definitely face the Steelers on Sunday Night Football in week twelve. When they take the field, they’ll be led by a face familiar to those of us here in Pittsburgh: Pitt Panthers hero Tyler Palko. Palko, who some of you may recall was a Steeler for exactly one week a couple years back, has never made an NFL start.
Well, he was good enough to beat out Joe Flacco. I bet he could beat the Seahawks.
The rash of quarterback injuries has me thinking, could you imagine if the Ginger Dictator’s oft-stated goal of going to an 18 game season had gone through? Instead of Montana vs. Elway or Aikman vs. Kelly we’d be looking at an epic Super Bowl match-up between Matt Flynn and Charlie Batch.
Don’t scoff, Steeler fans. If this weekend has proven anything, it’s that a team’s fortunes can crash faster than a bank on Wall Street. And unlike those banks, there’s nothing President Obama can do to bail them out (unless he can throw a really nice square-out). Guys like Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco may be crappy starting quarterbacks but a crappy starting quarterback can usually beat a decent back-up quarterback. So let’s clutch our rabbit’s feet, avoid black cats, and pray to our cell phone images of Art Rooney that no tragedies befall Big Ben.
Oooo… All I could do as the Quarterback obituaries were rolling off the press was think about that post. It is exactly as you said it, especially with Houston. Late round playoff contender becomes wild-card hopeful. Not that anyone was handing KC or Houston the Lombardi, but talk about a big blow to the season.
Again – I don’t think Pittsburgh needs to make #1 priority out of planning for Ben’s demise, but he is way too central to the “new offense” to think Chaz is going to be an adequate replacement.
Black Monday sure is going to make these last few weeks interesting. If Gradkowski’s return(s) to Pittsburgh are any foray into what Palko is going to do, it should be interesting.