Ben Roethlisberger has been the offensive anchor for the Steelers since 2004 when he was drafted and quickly replaced a mediocre-at-best Tommy Maddox. Roethlisberger, the two-time Super Bowl champion, is arguably the best quarterback in Steelers’ history, his only competition being Terry Bradshaw. He’s been to the Pro Bowl five times in 14 years. Nine of those 14 years resulted in a playoff berth for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It would seem almost impossible that Steelers Nation could turn sour on such a historic member of the team.
But they have.
After an absolutely dreadful outing at Heinz Field against the top-rated pass defense in the NFL, many Steelers fans have turned on Roethlisberger. He threw a career-high five interceptions, with two of them being returned for defensive touchdowns. Roethlisberger completed 33 of 55 passes and ended the day with an abysmal 37.8 passer rating. Had this been an anomaly, many would have chalked it up to just a bad day. The Steelers are known for losing against bad teams they should easily beat, but Roethlisberger simply hasn’t been his former self this year. In his last three games, Roethlisberger has averaged a passer rating of 66.6. He finished the entire 2016 season with an average of 95.4.
The question then becomes, “Is it time to start evaluating options?”
The Steelers are stuck between a rock and a hard place at quarterback. The options are a possibly regressing Ben Roethlisberger, a bottom tier backup Landry Jones, and a relative unknown in Joshua Dobbs. There is no clear-cut answer in Pittsburgh, but it seems far too early to discount one of most reliable quarterbacks in the 2000s era NFL. With a tough match-up at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs this week, it is certainly time for Roethlisberger to show up. If he doesn’t, it looks to be a long season for Steelers’ fans.
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