The return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to the Pittsburgh Steelers is perhaps the most enticing story surrounding the team's Week 6 game. (And the media is all over that - don't you worry.) Obviously, that's a huge development not just for this week, but for the Steelers' entire season, as they hope to pick up where they left off after a strong, Roethlisberger-less 3-1 start, achored by a dominant defensive unit and some inspired running from Rashard Mendenhall.
However, for the purposes of this week's game, the more important story could be who starts at quarterback for the other team, the Cleveland Browns, a team Pittsburgh has repeatedly embarrassed over the last decade.
The Browns appear to have improved from last year's campaign, however, as their four losses on the year were decided by an average of only 5.5 points. They haven't been blown out yet, despite squaring off against two playoff-caliber teams: the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens.
A big part of that has been the solid performance of veteran quarterback Seneca Wallace, who was initially listed behind turnover factory Jake Delhomme on the depth chart. Following an early-season injury to Delhomme, Wallace recorded an 88.5 quarterback rating, nearly seven yards per attempt, and a 63% completion percentage. At just 173 yards per game in four contests, he's not winning games for the Browns, but he's not losing them either, as has typically been the case for recent Browns quarterbacks. (Shout out to Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, and Charlie Frye! How's it going, guys?)
However, Wallace suffered a sprained ankle against the Falcons, and Delhomme, who relieved him against the Falcons, is still banged up himself. Now, there are reports that the Browns could turn to rookie Colt McCoy.
I could discuss at great length why this is wonderful news for the Steelers, but I think I'll leave that to Browns coach Eric Mangini, who at least has a sense of humor about the awful hand he's been dealt:
I don't think I've ever been on a team that's started a rookie QB. But it will be easy. It's the Steelers, right? They're coming off a bye week and they don't blitz much.
Check back here for updates as Sunday's contest approaches. Oh, and enjoy the bloodbath, Steelers fans.