When I think of Ben Roethlisberger, I like to think of the guy who survived a traumatic motorcycle accident. I like to think of the guy that’s built like a shit-brick house. I like to think of the guy who won 13 straight games his rookie year, a Super Bowl his second year in the NFL.
It saddens me to think of Roethlisberger as an over-the-hill QB. But after a bad loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, that reality is starting to sink in.
The Pittsburg Steelers are in a bit of a rut. In the last four games of the ’12 season, they went 1-3. They started the ’13 season losing all four pre season games. And now, they sit at the bottom of the division with a 0-2 start.
Sure, Roethlisberger did lose talent this offseason. Mainly in losing Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins. But he still has some weapons.
Antonio Brown has been with the team since 2010, and has always been one of the offensive secret weapons. In 2011, he piled up more than 1,000 receiving yards. And last season he had close to 800. Big Ben has more than proven his arm strength. Why not send the guy downfield and hope for the best?
The problem starts to show itself when we look to the offensive line. A big guy like Roethlisberger can take a lot of punishment. But you can’t expect anyone to take shots like that all game. And if you can’t establish a pocket to protect your star QB, you can’t establish a pass game.
It get’s even more difficult when you can’t establish a run game either. The Steelers did not even break 50 yards on the ground. And Roethlisberger was the teams second highest rusher, with 6 yards.
Now to be fair, the Bengals have definitely established themselves as a good NFL team. Andy Dalton is a solid, young QB. And with a guy like A.J. Green at his disposal, they can be dangerous.
They also have ex-Steeler James Harrison. If the name James Harrison alone doesn’t scare you, then I assume you don’t watch much football.
Age can be a cruel mistress. The Steelers were once viewed as a young team, with a young head coach (Mike Tomlin) to steer a young starting QB into the direction of the old Steelers dynasty.
Now-a-days, do you hear anyone refer to the Steelers as young? Or say they’re a “promising” team?
The most you hear about them is in questioning their abilities to make playoffs, let alone win it all.
With the start of this season being as bleak as it has been, I wouldn’t count on it.