Ben Roethlisberger is in a no-win situation and while some of it may be of his own doing, the fact is that he just can’t win no matter what he does on the field anymore. If he gets the Steelers a lead in the second half and the team still loses, it’s his fault. If he puts up 31 points and the Steelers lose, it’s his fault. If he leads the team from behind and the Steelers still somehow lose, it’s Ben’s fault.
Apparently Ben Roethlisberger is supposed to win games by himself each and every week. Never mind that he seemingly had the ‘killer instinct’ he’s been accused of lacking against Oakland this year, but when Antonio Brown fumbled, it became Ben’s fault. Sunday night against the Bengals, Ben was accused of not doing enough to ‘put the Bengals’ away. What was he supposed to do? Receivers either dropped balls or running plays were called in typical Pittsburgh fashion to sit on the lead.
As I mentioned, Ben is not without fault for his plethora of attackers. With his off-field behavior forever turning people against him regardless of what he does on the field, he does make mistakes and throw interceptions and I have been plenty critical of him at times too. In fact, I would say he needs to grow up and move on with Todd Haley and quit whining about an offense that is seeing him produce big numbers and getting sacked less than ever before. He still hangs on to the ball too long at times and occasionally misses open guys, but he’s human after all last I checked. The pick-six he threw in Denver to clinch it for the Broncos was on him and he knew it. Shouldn’t have been thrown there and he knew that too.
Sadly though, Ben has become a scapegoat for people who still claim Dick LeBeau’s defense is the second coming of the Steel Curtain. Never mind that this defense has blown 20 4th quarter/OT leads since 2007 while at the same time Roethlisberger has led 21 4th quarter comebacks and has 28 game-winning drives since he entered the league in 2004. Those three losses from this year are also all Ben’s fault as well if you know your football…. All he did in Denver was get the lead for the Steelers in the 4th quarter 19-14 only to see the Broncos’ offense score 10 in a hurry-up offense that made the Steelers’ D look like it was in quicksand. Again, that was on Ben though.
I’ve been told by experts far wiser than me that stats don’t apparently don’t matter though. Terry Bradshaw picked up the slack for an aging defense in the late 1970′s I was told and indeed he did. Brad is and always will be my favorite player so I knew this. What I didn’t recall was that the Steelers’ teams in his final two Super Bowl years averaged 24 points per game. The offense in 2012 is averaging 23.3, but stats don’t matter because these are different eras though right? Again, Ben’s fault.
Fact of the matter is that Ben Roethlisberger and the defense have both won and lost games for this team and I recognize that. Some experts want to see Ben get that ‘killer instinct’ back he allegedly lost and go for the throat when the team is ahead. Ya know what? So do I. I want to see the offense remain aggressive and not go into its’ shell like it’s the Cowher years where we could just pound it 30 times in the final quarter to hang onto single-digit wins. Sunday in Cincinnati, this team looked a bit like that behind the offensive line and Jonathan Dwyer, but in the eyes of some, that’s not enough. Ben has to do more!
I’m willing to have it both ways in that both Ben and the defense can take blame for both wins and losses for when it’s called. Unfortunately others who cover the Steelers can’t accept that. It’s either their way or else. No compromise, no acceptance of other opinions and no respect. Of course that’s probably Ben’s fault too.