Some on this site and in the larger spheres claim that the Steelers woes can't be laid upon Roethlisberger. I can only assume you haven't watched any Steelers games. The defense and RBs are playing at a comparable level to last year. Spec. Teams are indeed sub-par. However, the QB play is clearly responsible for the defending champs' 2-6 start.
Halfway through the season, Roethlisberger appears slow to make decisions and cycle through his reads. While the physical mechanics of his passes are fine -- that's muscle memory, baby -- his split-second reactions & instincts seem dim. Understandably.
He left the game against the Falcon two weeks ago after taking two helmets to his helmet like a Honda in a garbage compacter. Cowher started his concussed QB against the lowly Raiders, one of the worst coachiing decisions I have ever witnessed (the Redskins dropping Hall-of-Famer Brian Mitchell for Deion Spandex is my #1 most-hated). Remember, before that concussion from the Falcons, Ben had just led the Steelers to a 45-7 romp over the Chiefs, completing 16/19 for 2 TDs, 0 INTs. Since leaving the Atlanta game, Ben has thrown 2 TDs and 7 INTs. The cumulative effects of concussions are legion.
Point is, rushing back too early from massive head trauma (both the motorcycle & the Atlanta hit) might have destroyed the young talent's career. Brain injuries don't mend like broken bones.
This year (halfway), Ben has thrown 7 TDs and 14 INTs, with a sour 72.2 rating. Notably, he has been sacked 23 times, tied for sixth most sacks in the NFL. And he was out for three games!
Last year, he finished with 17 TDs and 9 INTs, with a 98.6 rating in the company of the best QBs in the league. Notably, he was only sacked 23 times all of last year.
The line is not so much at fault here. Roethlisberger hesitates and thinks through his progression, rather than the read-and-react that took the Steelers to the Superbowl. This, coupled with an understandable unwillingness to scramble, has led to a lot of the sacks.
Meanwhile, the Steelers have Charlie Batch on the bench, who assuredly would have led the Steelers past the Raiders and given Ben another week to let his brain swelling go down. Batch (on 39 att) has 5 TDs and 0 INTs for a rating of 136.8 -- best in the NFL.
This reminds me of the sad plight of another famous burger forced to retire before he was able to accomplish all that he might have. Mayor McCheese was found to have been plagiarized (along with other McDonalds characters) from HR Pufnstuf, and is now soley used to entertain the dying children who, let's face it, aren't spending lot of money on hamburgers anyway.
I haven't claimed that Big O Ben isn'y making mistakes, I'm saying the mistakes are because he's being asked to do much more than last year. In 12 games last year Ben threw 268 times (62.7 comp %) for 2385 yards. Thats 198.75 yards per game and 22.3 attempts. This year hhe has thrown 234 times (64.1 comp%) for 1779 yards, thats 254.14 yards per game and 33.42 attempts. That's a significant change from last year. And the Steelers rushing production has changed for the worse.
Last year: 34.3 att/G, 138.9 yds/G, 1.3 tds/G, and 6.625 1st downs/G
This year: 27.9 att/G, 108.6 yds/G, 0.875 tds/G, and 5.5 1st downs/G
More of the offensive production has been placed on his injured shoulders so I can't really lay the blame on Ben for the Steelers record.
Why the fuck can't you?
Look at what the Batch was capable of in this offense. Highest rating in the NFL. And you know, a hell of a nice guy.
Also, I think Batch is cablasian. He and Johnny Morton were the best cablasian duo in the NFL. Batch is comfortable with Hines Ward who is also cablasian.
Semi off topic... Are you making up the Mayor McCheese/HR Puffinstuff link?
Absolutely not making up Mayor McCheese = copyright infringement. Go look it up. You'll also find semi-humorous biographies of the shamed politician.
Yes, Batch had a good game against the powerful Miami Team lead by the mighty Culpepper, who threw a pic returned for a TD. Also, no fumbles on kick returns or at the goal line for the Steelers which is rare event for them this season. Maybe I should add I think Ben has been over hyped as super QB and I never thought he was, that's why I speculated early in the season that the loss of Bettis and Randle would hurt the team. When you put the Bus in the backfield the LB's and safetys have to play up toward the line or the bus will rip you for 10 yards on 3rd down, leaving one of your WR's or TE in single coverage - that doesn't happen this year because closet pooper isn't as much of a threat. Now Ben is throwing into double coverage all the time, and paying the price.
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