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      Smack Zone — Michael Vick

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      Does Big Ben's Busted Knee Bust Steelers' Hopes?

      [caption id="attachment_1132" align="alignright" width="474"]OK, so with Big Ben out, it's up to Michael Vick to keep things rolling. One thing doesn't change, though: In Pittsburgh, 'Ravens' is a four-letter word. OK, so with Big Ben out, it's up to Michael Vick to keep things rolling. One thing doesn't change, though: In Pittsburgh, 'Ravens' is a four-letter word.[/caption] It could have been worse. In fact, it LOOKED a lot worse. As Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger writhed on the field in the immediate aftermath of a tough hit on his left knee by Rams safety Mark Barron, it looked like Pittsburgh's season was about to go up in smoke. Even as Big Ben grimaced and shook his head on the sideline, the frightening reality that this was now Michael Vick's team for the duration was beginning to set in for Steelers fans. But, it wasn't as bad as first thought. Roethlisberger is only expected miss four-six weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL). So, while he'll miss out on Thursday's rivalry game against the 0-3 Baltimore Ravens, he could be back as soon as Nov. 1 against the surging Bengals. This is huge, because a glance at the final third of Pittsburgh's schedule is just plain scary for a Steelers team without Big Ben under center: at Seattle, Colts at home, at Bengals, Broncos at home, at Ravens, at Browns. They're going to need their talisman for those games. So, just as the injury could have been worse, so could the timing. Anyway, it's not a complete disaster for Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger has missed 16 games since his debut in 2004. The Steelers wereΒ 9-7 in those games. It will be up to Vick to keep it simple and let running backs DeAngelo Williams and Le'Veon Bell do their thing on the ground. If he can recapture a little bit of that old Vick glory -- as opposed to the ugly mess he brought to the Jets last year -- Pittsburgh just might be able to weather the next four-six weeks. Maybe. Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β