Week 17 start, sit

Updated: December 28, 2007, 7:53 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
It's Friday, only a day away from a "nationally televised" game between the unbeaten Patriots and beaten-up Giants, and I'm here to tell you a whole lot is going to change between now and then. And then a lot more will change on Sunday morning. Think your starting quarterback for your Week 17 playoff finale is safe? Not so fast!

Let's use Big Ben Roethlisberger as an example, shall we? Not that I'm bitter or anything, but here I am with Pittsburgh's quarterback in a key week and thinking he's going to destroy the Ravens. The Steelers don't like the Ravens, and the feeling is probably mutual. The last time these teams played Big Ben dropped five touchdowns on Brian Billick's sad secondary in just the first half. Well, with Pittsburgh having clinched its playoff spot, I figured Roethlisberger would play oh, about one half. Perfect! Get a few touchdowns and before you can pull a Tom Brady from Week 16 and start to turn the ball over, get out.

Um, sorry, Roethlisberger is not likely to play at all, we were told Thursday night. Strike that theory.