P ITTSBURGH - Sunday was a productive day for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
They knocked off the Cincinnati Bengals 23-7 at Heinz Field and moved a step closer to nailing down the playoff spot that eluded them last season.
They did what they had to do against the underachieving Bengals and now have three games left, two of them at home.
The situation looks good.
But if you're looking for something to worry about - and that's what we provide here, you're welcome - you're completely justified in having major anxiety about the offensive line.
The line was a concern heading into training camp, and it's a bigger worry now that the postseason is looming.
The Steelers have enough skill to succeed on offense. The question is whether those players will have the time and space they need, and that's where the line becomes an issue.
Injuries have taken a huge toll on a group that wasn't that solid from the beginning. Willie Colon was lost in the offseason. Max Starks went down several weeks ago, and won't be back until next season.
Chris Kemoeatu and Flozell Adams are playing hurt.
It's not like the Steelers want to play Jonathan Scott and Ramon Foster. They have no choice.
They're another pulled hamstring away from opening the Rolodex to find guys who are unemployed in mid-December.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a broken nose and a broken right foot. He's scrambling for his life on too many plays.
Roethlisberger is good at improvisation. He made an incredible play last week to get rid of the ball when Baltimore's Terrell Suggs was pawing at it and trying to knock him down at the same time.
Roethlisberger had the presence of mind and physical ability to heave the ball out of bounds and save yardage.
On Sunday, he ducked two tackles on a flea flicker gone awry, and he was able to shotput the ball ahead to Rashard Mendenhall to avoid a loss.
But it would be better if Roethlisberger could drop back and have some time to find his receivers.
He's operating on one leg and dealing with a broken nose that was protected with a bandage and a face shield, the latter only for the first half.
You just wonder how battered Roethlisberger might be at this point if he hadn't sat out the first four games because of his NFL-mandated suspension.
If the Steelers are going anywhere, they need Roethlisberger.
Back-up Byron Leftwich hasn't played since the last pre-season game. Third-stringer Charlie Batch wasn't even supposed to make the team this year.
Protecting Roethlisberger is paramount if the Steelers expect to do anything in the postseason.
They should be able to get by Carolina and Cleveland to finish with a minimum of 12 victories.
The New York Jets, this week's opponent, don't appear to be as strong as they looked earlier in the season. The Steelers could wind up 13-3.
If they don't do a better job of taking care of their quarterback, they could wind up very disappointed.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.