An injury to a player can not only change the course of a particular team, but can alter an entire division. It was reported early Thursday that Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who recorded 14 sacks last season, tore his Achilles’ tendon, and may be out for the entire 2012 NFL season.
However, Suggs believes that he can possibly return by midseason.
Regardless of how long the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is off the field, this can greatly play in favor for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers were 12-4 last season, and still didn’t win the AFC North. With Baltimore possibly not having their premier pass rusher for the season, that could result in the Ravens struggling in the phase of the game in which they are best known, and could leave the door wide open for Pittsburgh to become division champions.
This will definitely be of great help for the Steelers when they face Baltimore twice in a three-week span (Weeks 11 and 13). And adding rookies David DeCastro and Mike Adams to the offensive line, via the 2012 NFL Draft, will help protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger versus Baltimore without their sack master.
Three of the four teams in the AFC North made the playoffs in 2011, the Steelers, the Ravens, and the Cincinnati Bengals. This alone makes this the toughest division in the NFL. With the unfortunate injury to Suggs, the Bengals lacking significant experience, and the Cleveland Browns in rebuilding mode, this is now the time for Pittsburgh to seize the moment and take control of the division, and possibly the entire AFC.
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