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Ben Roethlisberger

Gosselin NFL Rankings: Here comes Carolina

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Who will be the next NFL champion?

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Only two NFL teams are 3-0 on the road this season, the Panthers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Carolina won only two games on the road all of last season.

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Tom Brady has thrown 110 passes without an interception this season. He was the only quarterback to pass for 1,000 yards through the first three weeks (1,092) and also led the NFL with his 8 TD passes.

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The two key elements for any Super Bowl contender are quarterback and pass rush. The Raiders have both with Derek Carr taking the snaps and Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin pressuring the quarterback off the edge.

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Six of the NFL’s eight division champions in 2015 failed to return to the playoffs the following season, including all four of the teams that won the NFC titles.

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Other than teammate Ben Roethlisberger, there’s one quarterback Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison said he’d like on his club: “That damned Tom Brady.”

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The Jets upset of the Colts in 1969 holds the greatest historical significance in Super Bowl annals. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a victory, then the Jets went out and became the first AFL champion to beat the NFL champ.

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The New England Patriots are the AFC East champions and AFC top seed with a 14-2 record. The coach (Bill Belichick) and quarterback (Tom Brady) have been to six Super Bowls and won four of them.

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Hall-of-Fame semifinalist Alan Faneca recalls the biggest play of the Steelers’ 2005 Super Bowl season and, predictably, it was made by Ben Roethlisberger. But there’s a catch: It wasn’t one of Big Ben’s passes or scrambles.

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The Denver Broncos captured the Lombardi Trophy last season but no team has repeated as NFL champion since the New England Patriots in 2003-04.

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The last defensive player to win the NFL MVP award was Lawrence Taylor in 1986. The Steelers haven’t had an MVP since Terry Bradshaw in 1978, and the Raiders haven’t had one since quarterback Rich Gannon in 2002.

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The retirement of Peyton Manning, a four-game suspension of Tom Brady and offseason back surgery that may force J.J. Watt to miss the start of the season could scramble the NFL MVP race in 2016.

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Since 2010, backup quarterbacks have been asked to start 508 games league-wide in the absence of the starters. Those backups have managed to win only 208 of them. That’s a winning percentage of 35.4.

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Ben Roethlisberger acknowledges that his game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLIII was a “combination” of one of the best throws and catches ever. But he also considers it “the dumbest throw ever,” and let him explain.

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Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed five starts with injury and 2014 AFC rushing champion missed eight. How much better would the Steelers be with 16 games out of both Bell and Roethlisberger?

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If you had to choose one receiver who would it be — Antonio Brown or Hines Ward? Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger tries to answer that question on this week’s Talk of Fame Network broadcast.

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