Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/16/12

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 27: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Several big-name NFL quarterbacks got injured last weekend, creating difficult spots for their teams, and changes in the point spreads. Unsurprisingly, the injury to Ben Roethlisberger has the most significant effect on the spread. Per Pregame.com, here’s how much each starting quarterback’s injury is worth to his team’s point spread: Big Ben: 4 points Jay Cutler: 2 points Alex Smith: 1.5 points Michael Vick: 1 point The difference in the spread is as much to do with the quarterback’s ability as it does the dropoff in talent level compared to the backup. The Pittsburgh Steelers are going from Roethlisberger to Byron Leftwich. Roethlisberger and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler are on a close level, but the difference in backups is huge. Chicago’s backup quarterback is Jason Campbell, who led the Raiders to an 11-7 record as their starter the past two seasons. Leftwich started five games from 2007-2011, and his teams went 0-5. The 49ers have been winning mostly thanks to their defense and run game, not their passing game. The slight change in spread indicates they would be expected to do almost as well under Colin Kaepernick as Alex Smith. Right now, it looks like Smith will be cleared to start for San Francisco, so the spread would not be changed. Michael Vick has been ruled out this week for the Eagles, and his concussion is significant enough to potentially keep him out for the rest of the season. The team hasn’t been playing too well with him, so a change to rookie Nick Foles, who seems pretty capable, presents little dropoff. Other quarterbacks to compare: Peyton Manning: 6.5 points Tom Brady: 6 points Aaron Rodgers: 6 points Matt Ryan: 4 points Eli Manning: 4 points Matthew Stafford: 2 points It’s debatable that Peyton would be worth more points than Brady and Rodgers. That could have to do with Peyton’s role as a coach/offensive coordinator on the field, as well as the difference in backups. Behind Peyton is rookie Brock Osweiler, while Brady (Ryan Mallett) and Rodgers (Graham Harrell) have backups with slightly more experience. Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
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