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Pre Ben IV

October 3, 2010 - Buck Frank
The Steelers can do the unthinkable today and improve to 4-0 without Ben Roethlisberger. My guess is Mike Tomlin has some sort of incentive for the team with the bye week approaching. If they win, they may get the week off and not even see Roethlisberger, whose suspension is lifted Monday, for several more days. The Steelers are currently one of just three teams that are unbeaten after three weeks. Kansas City is off this weekend but faces two tough road games after their bye -- at Indianapolis and at Houston. Chicago, the other 3-0 team, plays at the New York Giants Sunday night, but then has four favorable games -- at Carolina, vs. Seattle, vs. Washington and at Buffalo -- before hitting a tough stretch. If the Steelers get past the Ravens, they'll have the winless Browns at home but then face a difficult three-game road swing -- at Miami, New Orleans and Cincinnati. It appears as though the 1972 Dolphins have no worries of their perfect season being topped this year. It is worth noting, though, that since 2003 at least one team in the NFL has gone through the first seven games unbeaten, and four teams have gone the first 10 games unbeaten in the last three years.

TODAY'S GAME --Rain is in the forecast, although one half-hour before kickoff none is in sight. --The Steelers deactivated Trai Essex and Chris Hoke due to injuries. Doug Legursky will get his second straight start at right guard, and Steve McLendon was added to the roster to fill in for Hoke at backup nose tackle. It's kind of funny that Essex is the cover boy for today's Steelers Gameday magazine. --OT Tony Hills won't be wearing a uniform today due to his lack of versatility on the line. CB Keenan Lewis has gone from nearly starting to not dressing on game days, and WR Emmanuel Sanders is sitting due to Antonio Brown's return ability. Other Steelers inactive today include rookies RB Jonathan Dwyer, CB Crezdon Butler and LB Thaddeus Gibson -- no surprises there. --The Ravens will be without defensive end Cory Redding, who will be replaced in the lineup by a name familiar to Steelers fans -- Paul Kruger. He was the lineman who intercepted Dennis Dixon in OT last year. --As expected, Ray Rice is going to play through his bruised knee. He apparently was limping most of the week, so all eyes will be focused on him in the early going since he's had success running the ball against the Steelers.

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