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House of Steel
09-25-2006, 10:34 AM
What's Wrong with Big Ben?
Posted Sep 24th 2006 5:18PM by Ryan Wilson
Filed under: Steelers, AFC North


The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped its second consecutive game losing 28-20 to the Cincinnati Bengals. The game saw nine turnovers, five from the Steelers and three of those courtesy of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After an uneven performance last week, it's easy to blame rust on Roethlisberger's slow start. And if that seems too obvious, there's always the mid-summer motorcycle accident followed by an emergency appendectomy a week before the September 7 season opener.( How old is this getting??? You know people and the media need to get off this damn subject and get a move on. He rushed back too soon IMO from the appendectomy. Simple as that)

But after watching the third-year quarterback against the Bengals today, his problem doesn't seem to be rust; he's just making very poor decisions. Pittsburgh had an opportunity to go up 14-0 early in the game and on first-and-6 Roethlisberger threw an awful interception into quadruple coverage.

Late in the third quarter with the Steelers leading 17-14, Roethlisberger opted to throw an ill-advised deep ball to Cedrick Wilson instead of hitting running back Verron Haynes in the flat and the results were predictable: interception.

The interception parade ended, appropriately enough, on the penultimate play of the game as the Steelers were driving for a tying touchdown. Bengals' safety Kevin Kaesviharn picked off a Roethlisberger pass in the end zone with 10 seconds left on the clock.

It's hard to blame Roethlisberger for the last interception, but a pretty good argument can be made that the first two were momentum killers. Unlike 2005, when Roethlisberger looked dreadful in the preseason -- which resulted in countless "Sophomore Slump" articles -- Big Ben performed well during a handful of preseason snaps this year. But that was before the appendectomy. If history is any guide, Roethlisberger will return to form, but given Pittsburgh's tough early-season schedule, the team can ill afford many more shoddy performances