Thursday, April 15, 2010
How I See It: AFC North Stock Watch
By James Walker
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Pittsburgh Steelers' passing game: Mike Wallace is a talented second-year receiver. But chances are he will not be able to fully replace the 79 catches and 1,248 yards that left town when Pittsburgh traded Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets for a fifth-round pick. Holmes was shipped out of Pittsburgh for off-the-field reasons. But on the field he was the Steelers' most physically gifted receiver. Add in the fact that star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could face a suspension at start of the 2010 season, and Pittsburgh's passing attack could sputter in September.
Steelers' rivals: The more problems Pittsburgh has, the better it is for the rest of the division. The Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns all moved up a couple of rungs this week, courtesy of the Steelers. The Holmes trade and Roethlisberger's potential suspension both put a dent in Pittsburgh regaining its championship form of 2008. If Roethlisberger misses two games or more to start the season, division rivals could get a head start in the standings and force the Steelers to play catch up the remainder of the season.