AFC Week 9 Commentary: Injured Roethlisberger leads Steeler past Ravens

Tyler Filippini

By Tyler Filippini

Steelers 23 (5-2-1, 1st in AFC North), Ravens 16 (4-5, 3rd in AFC North)

Big Ben Roethlisberger threw for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Steelers recovered from their Week 4 loss to the Ravens, splitting the season series at a win each. Roethlisberger appeared to have suffered a major shoulder injury after a scramble in the fourth quarter, but in true Roethlisberger fashion, returned after just one play. The Steelers extended their winning streak to four games, while the Ravens have lost their last three games entering the bye week.

Chiefs 37 (8-1, 1st in AFC West), Browns 21 (2-6-1, 4th in AFC North)

Browns doing Browns thing against a very good team. Firing Hue Jackson doesn’t seem to have done much after one week, but it’s still too early to tell whether or not it will have any long-term effect. The Chiefs remain the team to beat in the AFC, flaunting their passing offense in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, and their rushing offense in Kareem Hunt.

Dolphins 13 (5-4, 2nd in AFC East), Jets 6 (3-6, 3rd in AFC East)

A very underwhelming game between two underwhelming teams. The Dolphins could, at best, grab a Wild Card spot, but with so much talent in the AFC, it’s hard to see them getting anywhere with the injuries piling up. At least the Jets still have Sam Darnold?

Bears 41 (5-3, 1st in NFC North), Bills 9 (2-7, 4th in AFC East)

It’s nice to see the Bears doing well again after a long period of uncertainty following their NFC Championship loss to the Packers back in 2011. Mitchell Trubisky provides stability, but not much more than that. Stability is all that’s really necessary offensively when your defense can hold a team under double-digit points while missing its best playmaker in Khalil Mack. Last year’s playoff loss to Jacksonville seems like it was ages ago for the Bills.

Texans 19 (6-3, 1st in AFC South), Broncos 17 (3-6, 3rd in AFC West)

This game marked the return of Demaryius Thomas to Denver one week after his trade. The Texans offense showed their capabilities with the dual threat of Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins on the outside, and if the defense can continue to contain opponents, they should be a dark horse championship contended from the AFC to look out for.

Patriots 31 (7-2, 1st in AFC East), Packers 17 (3-4-1, 3rd in NFC North)

Aaron Rodgers looked frustrated after his loss, and he should have been, as he now drops to 1-1 against Tom Brady in his career. Although both will go down as all-time greats, Brady will potentially be seen as the greatest ever, while Rodgers will be a “what if.” What if Rodgers had more weapons offensively? What if the Packers had a better defense? What if he went to another team? The game itself was tied at 17 apiece at the end of the third quarter, but a late push by Brady showcased his talents and gave the Patriots the win at home.