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Mike Tomlin and the Steelers are searching for answers, and this week's game against the Dallas Cowboys represents a make-or-break opportunity for Pittsburgh.
Steelers fans can certainly point to Ben Roethlisberger's absence from the lineup in Weeks 11-13 as a contributing factor in the team's struggles. However, Pittsburgh (7-6) picked up their only win of the last four weeks against Baltimore in Week 13 with Big Ben out of the lineup and Charlie Batch handling the quarterback duties for the Steelers. Roethlisberger posted a quarterback rating of 87.9 in Week 14 against San Diego, a shade worse than Batch's 89.6 mark against the Ravens.
The team's turnover rate is more concerning. Since Week 11, the Steelers are a miserable -13 in turnover margin, including the debacle against the Cleveland Browns in Week 12 where Pittsburgh allowed three interceptions and a whopping five fumbles. The Steelers have not had a neutral turnover margin since their Week 10 overtime victory over the hapless Kansas City Chiefs.
There's more to play for than just playoff position in Week 15's tilt between the Cowboys and Steelers. Historic bragging rights are on the line, with the all-time series between the two teams tied at 15-15.