How many games can Steelers win with Michael Vick?


Tonight the Pittsburgh Steelers will host their most bitter rivals, the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field. Right now Vegas has Baltimore listed as 2.5 point favorites, but if history has anything to say on the subject, the Steelers don’t stand much of a chance.

According to Ed Werder at ESPN, the Steelers are 1-6 all time against the Ravens with Ben Roethlisberger out:

If that weren’t enough, Pittsburgh will have to go without linebacker Ryan Shazier, who has been playing lights out football so far in 2015.

As much as the Ravens have struggled through three games I just don’t see how the Steelers can overcome not having Roethlisberger in the lineup. Michael Vick may be one of the better backup quarterbacks in the NFL, but facing a desperate team in a rivalry game with three days to prepare is not going to bode well for him.

I’m predicting a Baltimore win tonight thanks to a late field goal by Justin Tucker, but that doesn’t mean you should despair.

Let’s look a little further ahead on the schedule and imagine how things might play out from here. Right now the prognosis for Big Ben is that he will miss six weeks. Assuming that’s the case, here’s my predictions for the next month and a half.

Week 5: @ San Diego Chargers: W

Vick and the Steelers will have an extra long rest period before their next game, which should give them plenty of time to prepare for Philip Rivers and the Chargers. San Diego is currently giving up 27.7 points per game to their opponents, which ranks them 25th in the league.

As if they needed another weapon on offense, Pittsburgh will be getting Martavis Bryant back for this one. It won’t be easy but the Steelers should be able to put enough points on the board to come away with a win.

Week 6: vs. Arizona Cardinals: L

Even with Roethlisberger healthy this one was going to be difficult.

Right now you can make a case that the Cardinals are playing better than any other team in the NFL. They’re leading the league in points per game and haven’t lost with Carson Palmer playing since December of 2013.

With the Steelers secondary struggling Arizona should light them up. They’re also playing tight defense – unless Pittsburgh gets a superstar effort from Vick this one is out of reach.

Week 7: @ Kansas City Chiefs: W

This was probably the toughest one to call out of the six games listed here because Kansas City is such an enigma.

Last year the Chiefs beat both the Patriots and the Seahawks despite not getting a single touchdown from their wide receivers. This year they’re giving up almost 30 points per game and didn’t look great in their lone win against the lowly Houston Texans.

Facing a porous defense the Steelers shouldn’t have much trouble getting a victory here.

Week 8: vs. Cincinnati Bengals: L

Andy Dalton will choke when the time comes and it really matters, but for right now he’s on fire and Cincinnati is playing the best football in the AFC aside from the Patriots.

Even with Jeremy Hill taking a step back Cincy is simply too deep for the Steelers to hang with right now.

Week 9: vs. Oakland Raiders: W

A lot of people are boarding the Raiders’ hype train after a promising 2-1 start. I am not one of them. Derek Carr looks good and he finally has some weapons to work with like Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, but this thing has a short shelf life.

The Raiders can ground and pound well enough but there’s no way they can win a shoot out with the Steelers at Heinz Field.

Week 10: vs. Cleveland Browns: W

Vick may not even have to let a single pass fly for Pittsburgh to come away with a win here.

After three weeks the Browns are the worst running defense in the NFL, and it’s not even close. Opponents are averaging 158.3 rushing yards per game against (a league worst) them and Pro Football Focus also has them rated dead last in run defense.

Clearly Cleveland is missing the underrated Ahtyba Rubin up front. Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams should have a field day.

So, if I’m right the Steelers can come away with four wins and two losses while Ben is recovering, which would be magnificent. They are very fortunate that this injury happened when it did in a relatively easy portion of the schedule with plenty of home games.

Even if I’m wrong and the Steelers go 3-3 during this stretch they won’t be out of the playoff race.

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