Projecting Pittsburgh Steelers' Playoff Odds After Ben Roethlisberger Injury

Brandon Alisoglu@@BrandonAlisogluCorrespondent INovember 12, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 12:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rolls out to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the game on November 12, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

This isn't good. 

Ben Roethlisberger got sandwiched between two Kansas City Chiefs defensive linemen and never returned to the field.


Ben Roethlisberger has left the stadium and will be heading to the hospital for an MRI on his shoulder

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) November 13, 2012

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been ascending power rankings all over the Internet over the past few weeks. Losses to the Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders had been dismissed as aberrations after the recent win over the New York Giants.

There didn't appear to be any way that the Steelers could miss the playoffs. They were rolling, and Big Ben was doing his best Big Ben act.

Now that he's hurt? Things are not so certain.

Pittsburgh barely escaped against the lowly Chiefs and needed a turnover (go figure) to close them out in overtime. The win means the Steelers move to 6-3, but what about the rest of the schedule?

There are still a few scary matchups left. Going to Cleveland hasn't been easy for anyone lately, and there are the two grudge matches left with the Baltimore Ravens. Those games are always wars.

If Roethlisberger can't go against the Ravens, that likely means that the Steelers will have two more losses, which would remove almost all margin of error. Additionally, games at the Dallas Cowboys and against the Cincinnati Bengals become exponentially more difficult.

At least the Steelers will get the Browns at home and have the shameful San Diego Chargers left.

But that might not be enough.

The closest competitors for the wild-card spots already have five losses. However, the Steelers could be a team spiraling downwards. If Ben doesn't come back soon, the playoffs are a dream that is best forgotten.

Therefore, pray, Steeler nation. Without Ben, the odds of another playoff appearance will fall to almost zero.