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.