The elbow injury to Ben Roethlisberger and subsequent news that he will be out of commission for the 2019 season is heartbreaking for Steelers fans. They entered the season looking forward to 16 games without locker room drama but will now be faced with the prospect of watching a second-year quarterback in Mason Rudolph try to lead his team to victory. The season is on a downward slope, and one radio host believes that it will have a butterfly effect on 15 other teams.
In the eyes of radio host Colin Cowherd, there is no reason for the 16 AFC teams to suit up each week. This conference is done, and they just should prepare for the AFC Championship matchup between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. As he said during his Monday show, there are fun stories in Baltimore, Houston, Jacksonville, and many other AFC cities, but the Roethlisberger injury just removed the only other competitive team from the mix.
"The AFC is done this morning," Cowherd proclaimed. "New England, Kansas City, it's done. The question now, 'do they play at Arrowhead [Stadium] or do they play in Foxboro?' I thought that this morning before this [injury news], now it's over. Spare me on Cleveland. Tennessee lost at home to Indianapolis' backup. Baltimore, they're fun, Lamar Jackson, but they struggled at home with Arizona. Rookie quarterback, second game. Rookie coach, second game."
As Cowherd continued, the Chargers losing to Detroit and the Texans struggling against the Gardner Minshew-led Jaguars just furthered his point. This conference is weak, with the exception of the Chiefs and Patriots. Yes, there are plenty of "fun" stories, such as Lamar Jackson, but he doesn't believe that you can trust any of these teams.
At this point in time, he fully expects the AFC representative in Super Bowl LIV to be led by either Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady. Big Ben and the Steelers were the only ones that could force their way into the Big Game, but now that situation has changed after the elbow injury. There is little chance that Rudolph will lead the Steelers to playoffs, let alone the AFC Championship.
The NFC may be full of heavy-hitters such as the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, and Seattle Seahawks, but the other conference is just not the same. Cowherd believes that there will only be two contenders for the Super Bowl.