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lamberts-lost-tooth
11-14-2006, 05:08 AM
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


One of the seven or so players who stood up at the Steelers' Saturday morning meeting was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It should come as no surprise considering that he stood up to everything thrown at him all year, from emergency medical procedures to calls for his benching.

Now it's Roethlisberger's turn to do the throwing, and he has done a much better job of it lately. In the past five games, he has compiled a more Big Ben-like passer rating of 101.4 compared to his overall 78.1. During that time, he has 1,474 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and completed 70 percent of his throws.

Clouded by the team's record and his high interception total, Roethlisberger is on target to produce the most prolific season by a passer in club history.

He has thrown for 2,043 yards in eight games, an average of 255.4 yards per game. Over the course of 15 games, that would produce 3,830 yards. Terry Bradshaw holds the team record with 3,724 yards in 1979.

Roethlisberger also is tearing through the personal standards he set in his wildly successful first two seasons as a pro. He has thrown for 998 yards the past three games, by far the most he has produced in a three-pack. This, after he threw for 433 yards against Denver Nov. 6, the second-highest total in club history.

It also marked the first time in his career he had consecutive games of more than 300 yards -- he had just two such games in his first two seasons. He has gone over 200 yards in his past seven games. He did it six times last season before the playoffs, and topped 200 four times as a rookie.

Also, for the second time in four games, Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes. He had one three-touchdown game before this season.

All in all, coach Bill Cowher is happy with his quarterback's performance.

"It was good to see him accurately throwing," Cowher said after Sunday's 38-31 victory against New Orleans at Heinz Field. "He's played pretty well throughout the year except for those one or two throws."

Roethlisberger's high total of 14 interceptions this season is perplexing to Cowher and his offensive staff because it's something Roethlisberger did not do his first two seasons in the league, when he threw a total of 20. He started the season by throwing seven interceptions and no touchdown passes in three games, all losses.

He followed that with two nearly perfect games against Kansas City and Atlanta, before he was knocked out of the Falcons' game with a concussion in the third quarter. He threw for a lot of yards -- 734 -- against Denver and Oakland but also had seven interceptions. Cowher absolved him of two of his three interceptions against Denver and Roethlisberger followed that with none against the Saints.

Roethlisberger, though, has readily accepted blame all season and he did it again Sunday.

"This is a team and a franchise that's used to winning games. For us, not winning and for me to not play well and to think it's been my fault -- it was important to come out and get this win and not turn the ball over."

He also refused to take credit for Sunday's victory, refusing even to say it was his best performance of the season.

"I think it was just a good game all around for all of us," Roethlisberger said. "I think our line played great -- they gave us a lot of time. There were maybe one or two sacks, but the one sack was my fault. I should have gotten rid of it.''

HometownGal
11-14-2006, 07:29 AM
Nice article, LLT - thanks! :cheers:

While his record setting pace is admirable, stats don't win football games unfortunately. I'd rather see Ben get on a pace of continuing to play like he did this past Sunday - he was totally focused, into his game and returned to playing the smart game that we're all used to seeing. :thumbsup: If Ben can stay healthy for the remainder of the season, I think we're all going to be reacquainted with the Ben Roethlisberger we've all become accustomed to - not the "imposter" who was under center in the early part of the season. :tt02:

19ward86
11-14-2006, 07:49 AM
roethlisberger needs to throw for 4000 yds this season, that would be nice to see.

stlrtruck
11-14-2006, 08:11 AM
I don't care what he throws for, as long as he stops throwing INTs, throws more TDs, and he puts this team back on it's winning ways and back in the playoff hunt!!!

BigDuke6
11-14-2006, 10:23 AM
Good for Ben. Bad for Pittsburgh. We all know this team is best when Ben throws 20-25 times a game. Then the running game is clicking, the clock is ticking and everybody is happy. Thats how the formula has worked under Cowher for soooo many years.

Preacher
11-14-2006, 01:35 PM
Good for Ben. Bad for Pittsburgh. We all know this team is best when Ben throws 20-25 times a game. Then the running game is clicking, the clock is ticking and everybody is happy. Thats how the formula has worked under Cowher for soooo many years.

I absolutely disagree. What did that formula get us? Not one, not two, not three.. HOW MANY AFC championship losses? When we fall behind and don't have the guns to come from behind in the fourth quarter. You need a strong passing game for that. You need a quarterback able to throw for 300+ yards. Then the opposing team has to respect the pass, and you can also run better.

Why did we win last year? We won because of Ben's arm. Remember the game against the Colts and the AFC game against the Broncos. That was Ben's arm that drove us and got the points. In the Superbowl, it was a combination of things, including speed at running back.

The days of 3 yards and a cloud of dust is over.

augustashark
11-14-2006, 02:06 PM
I absolutely disagree. What did that formula get us? Not one, not two, not three.. HOW MANY AFC championship losses? When we fall behind and don't have the guns to come from behind in the fourth quarter. You need a strong passing game for that. You need a quarterback able to throw for 300+ yards. Then the opposing team has to respect the pass, and you can also run better.

Why did we win last year? We won because of Ben's arm. Remember the game against the Colts and the AFC game against the Broncos. That was Ben's arm that drove us and got the points. In the Superbowl, it was a combination of things, including speed at running back.

The days of 3 yards and a cloud of dust is over.

I could'nt agree more!

I did some reserch and found out that Steve Young avg aprox 30 attempts a game and Brett Favre avg around 35 per game. I would say that they are pretty good QB'S that were very successful.

Black@Gold Forever32
11-14-2006, 03:54 PM
Nice article, LLT - thanks! :cheers:

While his record setting pace is admirable, stats don't win football games unfortunately. I'd rather see Ben get on a pace of continuing to play like he did this past Sunday - he was totally focused, into his game and returned to playing the smart game that we're all used to seeing. :thumbsup: If Ben can stay healthy for the remainder of the season, I think we're all going to be reacquainted with the Ben Roethlisberger we've all become accustomed to - not the "imposter" who was under center in the early part of the season. :tt02:

That is so true that stats don't win games. But with Ben on pace to break Terry's single season passing yards mark we all are seeing the talent that Big Ben has. The only thing that has held Ben back this year is his health. I'm just hoping for a strong finish by the Steelers and please Ben stay healthy. With a fully healthy Big Ben next year watch out NFL.

Elvis
11-14-2006, 04:12 PM
:helmet:
First of all... I am a diehard :helmet: man and I cant agree with all the passing ideas that you people are chattin' about. I had rather have a balanced attack no doubt about it. But how many teams passes for 400 yards a game and wins super bowls? Hardly any!! If you run the ball with alot of success , around 155 or 160 yards a game and can get around 200 yards passing from your QB then you will have alot better chance of winning a tittle. With a pretty good defense/ not a over powering dominating defense you can still win a tittle..:tt02:

Stlrs4Life
11-14-2006, 04:16 PM
I don't care what he throws for, as long as he stops throwing INTs, throws more TDs, and he puts this team back on it's winning ways and back in the playoff hunt!!!

Exactly, anyways, I thought theBengals were the only ones that cared about stats?

Black@Gold Forever32
11-14-2006, 04:22 PM
I think the point that is trying to made in this thread is that Ben does have the talent to one day take over a game or indeed carry the team in the future. True his 14 INT's have hurt bigtime this year. But Ben has been a beat up young man all year. I think his health woes and the fact he really is still learning the QB posistion at the NFL level has led to those 14 INT's. But this year we all are seeing the talent Ben has.

augustashark
11-14-2006, 06:37 PM
I could care less about stats! W's baby, thats all its about!

I was just saying that you can throw the ball 35 times in a game and win, and win on an consistent basis.

Stats schmats for all I care!

Preacher
11-15-2006, 12:15 AM
I think the point that is trying to made in this thread is that Ben does have the talent to one day take over a game or indeed carry the team in the future. True his 14 INT's have hurt bigtime this year. But Ben has been a beat up young man all year. I think his health woes and the fact he really is still learning the QB posistion at the NFL level has led to those 14 INT's. But this year we all are seeing the talent Ben has.

Agreed. He is talented.

Also, I am absolutely for a BALANCED offense. that is something we have not had in Pittsburgh since the Glory years. Now, we have it again, and we won a Superbowl with it.

However, you have prove once in a while that you can put up 400 yards so that the D will always be aware of your passing game. Who wants to go back to seeing teams put 9 in a box against us?

ytsan2q
11-15-2006, 10:28 PM
Let's worry more about the team and not the individuals. We need wins.

jaysta
11-15-2006, 10:31 PM
Let's just hope that Ben can stay healthy. I hope with all of the head trauma that he's taken in the last few months that there are no lasting effects. If he can keep from throwing the INT's the Steelers should be OK.

X-Terminator
11-15-2006, 11:49 PM
I don't understand this fear that so many people have that more passes automatically = losses. I don't buy it and never have. This team needed to prove that their passing attack commanded respect, so that defenses wouldn't continually crowd the line of scrimmage, which in turn opens up the running lanes and gives Willie more room to run. Teams did that against Philip Rivers - loaded up to stop LT - and he ended up burning them, as we can certainly attest to. As has already been said, we won the SB last year because of Ben's ability to throw the football, since our running game was pretty much shut down by both Indy and Denver. A balanced and diverse offensive strategy is what is needed to win in today's NFL - "3 yards and a cloud of dust" will not get it done. It's too predictable and too easy for opposing defenses to read and stop.

And I hope that Ben does end up setting those passing records and passes for 4,000 yards, so we can finally end the "Ben is overrated" crap once and for all. The kid has talent, and it's time that everyone around the league realized that.

PirateSteeler
11-16-2006, 12:59 AM
THE ONLY REASON BEN HAS PASSED FOR SO MANY YARDS IS BECAUSE WE HAVE CONSTANTLY BEEN PLAYING CATCH UP, WHICH FORCES ANY TEAM TO MAKE PATHETIC ATTEMPTS TO LAUNCH THE BALL DOWN THE FIELD AND GET QUICK POINTS. Where has it gotten us? 3-6.

If we start winning games you will see Ben's yards level off and our time of possession, points scored, and win totals increase.

Preacher
11-16-2006, 01:24 AM
I don't understand this fear that so many people have that more passes automatically = losses. I don't buy it and never have. This team needed to prove that their passing attack commanded respect, so that defenses wouldn't continually crowd the line of scrimmage, which in turn opens up the running lanes and gives Willie more room to run. Teams did that against Philip Rivers - loaded up to stop LT - and he ended up burning them, as we can certainly attest to. As has already been said, we won the SB last year because of Ben's ability to throw the football, since our running game was pretty much shut down by both Indy and Denver. A balanced and diverse offensive strategy is what is needed to win in today's NFL - "3 yards and a cloud of dust" will not get it done. It's too predictable and too easy for opposing defenses to read and stop.

And I hope that Ben does end up setting those passing records and passes for 4,000 yards, so we can finally end the "Ben is overrated" crap once and for all. The kid has talent, and it's time that everyone around the league realized that.

Yep! You are exactly right!