The Steelers are sinking.

Big Ben is hurt and the defense allowed 223 yards rushing to the Dolphins (2-4). It was the second awful performance by Pittsburgh's defense in a month following a 34-3 beatdown by the Eagles in Week 3.

If they couldn't stop a rookie like Carson Wentz and let Ryan Tannehill and Jay Ajayi have their way, there's no telling what Tom Brady and the Patriots will do to the Steelers this week.

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Uh, slow down.

Ben Roethlisberger missed five starts last year and the Steelers survived. They went 3-2 with Michael Vick and Landry Jones under center. Roethlisberger actually came in to win one of those games in relief. Jones has more experience and should be more comfortable this time around.

As for the defense, it should improve once defensive lineman Cam Heyward and linebacker Ryan Shazier return from injuries.

The Steelers might not be AFC frontrunners, but they're still the team to beat in the North. The Ravens (3-3) are reeling and the Bengals (2-4) are struggling.

Here are other overreactions following Week 6:

OVERREACTION: Six down, 10 to go. The Browns are going 0-16.

REALISTIC REACTION: A home game against the Jets on Oct. 30 might be Cleveland's best chance for a win.

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OVERREACTION: Cam Newton must be getting advice from Drew Rosenhaus. He answered "next question" several times during a terse, 90-second news conference following Carolina's 41-38 loss to New Orleans.

REALISTIC REACTION: Newton rallied the Panthers (1-5) back from a 21-0 deficit yet more people want to talk about his answers than his performance.

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OVERREACTION: Nobody is stopping Tom Brady and the Patriots.

REALISTIC REACTION: New England (5-1) is the best team in the AFC, but Brady beat the Browns (0-6) and Bengals (2-4). The Steelers (4-2) will be a much tougher test.

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OVERREACTION: Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills are rolling into the playoffs. They've won four straight after an 0-2 start.

REALISTIC REACTION: The schedule says it won't be easy. Next four games: At Miami, New England, at Seattle, at Cincinnati.

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OVERREACTION: It's Lane Johnson's fault the Eagles lost to the Redskins. Rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai started at right tackle for the suspended Johnson and allowed 2 1/2 sacks and several pressures.

REALISTIC REACTION: Defense allowed 231 yards rushing and team committed 13 penalties. Everyone deserves blame.

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OVERREACTION: The Packers aren't serious contenders in the NFC after a 30-16 home loss to the Cowboys.

REALISTIC REACTION: R-E-L-A-X. It's October.

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OVERREACTION: Odell Beckham Jr. finally has his emotions in check. He had a spectacular game against the Ravens and played nice with the kicking net.

REALISTIC REACTION: Beckham still drew a 15-yard penalty for taking off his helmet after catching the go-ahead TD. He needs a penalty-free game.

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OVERREACTION: The Chiefs (3-2) made the Raiders (4-2) look like pretenders with a 26-10 win on the road.

REALISTIC REACTION: Andy Reid is 16-2 after a bye. Oakland was just another on the list.

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OVERREACTION: Dak Prescott made the decision easy by leading the Cowboys (5-1) to a win at Lambeau Field. He's the starter whenever Tony Romo returns.

REALISTIC REACTION: It would be the toughest decision of Jason Garrett's coaching career except Jerry Jones calls the shots.

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OVERREACTION: Now the Cardinals are back. They're 3-3 after beating the Jets on Monday night.

REALISTIC REACTION: They beat the 49ers (1-5) and Jets (1-5) the past two weeks. The Seahawks (4-2) up next aren't pushovers.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi