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View Full Version : Big Ben refuses to let Steelers collapse


SH-Rock
10-08-2012, 07:32 AM
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger walked onto the field after the Steelers' defense blew another fourth-quarter lead with a 1-3 start hitting him in the face as hard as the rain at Heinz Field.

But the Steelers came back to beat the Eagles because of Roethlisberger. They've got a 2-2 record and newfound confidence because of Roethlisberger. They're not pushing the panic button heading into Thursday's game at Tennessee because of Roethlisberger.

In the Steelers' 16-14 win over the Eagles, he completed 4 of 5 passes for 50 yards and converted two third downs on the winning drive that ended with Shaun Suisham's game-ending field goal. Of his 25 game-winning drives in the fourth-quarter/overtime in the regular season, this won't rank near the top in terms of being memorable. As far as encapsulating his importance to this team, it was a drive that underscored how much Roethlisberger has been carrying the Steelers.

Name another quarterback who has done as much heavy lifting as Roethlisberger this season. He's constantly avoiding pass-rushers because his offensive line can't block. Roethlisberger has gotten so comfortable running that he even faked the option on one scramble. He watched wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown drop passes at an alarming rate (Brown had a pass bounce off his hands in the end zone) and Jerricho Cotchery trip 2 yards short of the goal line. And he can't even count on Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, who sent two shotgun snaps flying over the 6-foot-5 quarterback's head. It makes you wonder if Roethlisberger is playing with the replacement Steelers.

What became clear is that the Steelers are going to go as far as Roethlisberger takes them. The offense is making careless errors and penalties. The defense is showing cracks in the fourth quarter. Based on the injuries, that's not going to change anytime soon.

The one constant in an uneven season has been Roethlisberger. Off to one of the best starts of his nine-year career, he entered this game ranked in the top five in the NFL in completion percentage, touchdowns, passing yards and passer rating. These categories don't fully reflect Roethlisberger's value this season.

Roethlisberger had to pick up the team after last year's top-ranked defense failed to stop the Eagles on two fourth-down stands and on third-and-goal, which put the Steelers in a 14-13 hole with 6:33 remaining in the game. Then, on the first offensive snap after Philadelphia's touchdown, left guard Willie Colon was called for holding, which pushed the Steelers back to their own 10-yard line.

Putting the Steelers on his back, Roethlisberger completed a 20-yard pass to Brown over the middle to convert a third-and-12 and found Emmanuel Sanders with a 7-yard toss on third-and-4 to put the Steelers within field goal range.

Roethlisberger recorded his 82nd career victory, and nearly one-third of them have been decided by a winning drive that he engineered. I'm not sure there is another quarterback you want more with the game on the line.

"I think all of the guys that you can make the argument for being franchise quarterbacks, I think [excelling in the fourth quarter] is the common tie that binds them," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "The reality is if they're in that discussion, it's because they deliver when it's time to deliver. No question, I don't care who you're talking to, [Roethlisberger] is in that discussion."

Roethlisberger, though, had something to prove before marching the Steelers 64 yards on 14 plays. In his words, he didn't want to go 0-for-3 in the fourth quarter.

In the season opener, he had an interception returned for a touchdown in the final two minutes when the Steelers trailed at Denver by six points. In the Steelers' previous game, Roethlisberger was shut out in the fourth quarter in Oakland as the Raiders scored the game's final 13 points.

It was different on Sunday against the Eagles, who have made a habit of beating teams in the final two minutes of games.

"I pride myself, if we get the ball, whether we are up, down or maybe it's tied, we want to go down and win the game," Roethlisberger said. "I want the ball in my hands. I always have the confidence in myself and the guys that we can do it. But sometimes younger guys, unless you've been here to do it, you are not really sure if it gets done as much as we talk about it."

Roethlisberger is doing all of this while adjusting to Todd Haley's new offense. He isn't chucking the ball downfield like he did under Bruce Arians. This offense is about short passes. It's about patience. It's about taking what the defense gives you.

Roethlisberger's average pass traveled 6.4 yards downfield on Sunday, his lowest such figure for a game since Week 8 of last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He was 19-for-27 for 176 yards when throwing the ball fewer than 10 yards down the field.

"It's a frustrating day when you get a great defense," Roethlisberger said, "because you want to do so much and there are plays you feel you've left out there."

The key is Roethlisberger didn't get frustrated. The Eagles were the ones who were frustrated. Philadelphia didn't sack Roethlisberger and couldn't get to him before he hit Brown for 20 yards for the key play on the winning drive.

"We had pressure," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "We had chances to get our hands on him. Heís a big, strong guy. You have to get him down once you get your hands on him. We knew that was an issue. Thatís been an issue with every team thatís played him."

Roethlisberger has been the Steelers' one-man gang this year. Their run game was historically bad until Rashard Mendenhall's return Sunday. The defense lost one pass-rusher (LaMarr Woodley) in the same game that they got another one (James Harrison) back. And there's a possibility that safety Troy Polamalu could miss extended time after aggravating his right calf injury. It doesn't look like either Woodley or Polamalu will play Thursday at Tennessee.

The Steelers are sloppy on offense. They're banged-up on defense.

The Steelers aren't the Steelers right now. But luckily for them, Roethlisberger is still the same Roethlisberger.

grward
10-08-2012, 07:47 AM
I'm more than thrilled to have BB on our team and always feel we can count on him when we need to score. BUT this article is just a bit over the top. Football is never a one-man game. There were many other players that helped us win that game yesterday. Timmons was everywhere. Foote recovering two fumbles. All the stops made by the defense sans the only two scores the Eagles had. Mendenhall giving us a run game. And I'm sure there are others. So give credit where due, but it's ridiculous to give this much credit to Ben.

The only good that can come from this article is that some of the subpar players wake up and perform better on the field.

Steelers>NFL
10-08-2012, 08:07 AM
I heard a stat saying, for all the games BB has in 4th qtr comeback, yesterday's was only the 2nd win in the last 2 seasons. Not sure if true.

Bayz101
10-08-2012, 08:35 AM
I'm more than thrilled to have BB on our team and always feel we can count on him when we need to score. BUT this article is just a bit over the top. Football is never a one-man game. There were many other players that helped us win that game yesterday. Timmons was everywhere. Foote recovering two fumbles. All the stops made by the defense sans the only two scores the Eagles had. Mendenhall giving us a run game. And I'm sure there are others. So give credit where due, but it's ridiculous to give this much credit to Ben.

The only good that can come from this article is that some of the subpar players wake up and perform better on the field.

Look no further than the dipshit who wrote the article.

Bayz101
10-08-2012, 08:36 AM
I heard a stat saying, for all the games BB has in 4th qtr comeback, yesterday's was only the 2nd win in the last 2 seasons. Not sure if true.

Sounds about right to me.

Fire Haley
10-08-2012, 10:41 AM
Ben gets all the praise when we win? Well this time he delivered in the clutch so I guess he's earned it.

If not for all the penalties and drops and Brown dropping a perfect TD pass and Cotchery tripping over the chalk line we wouldn't have need all the late game heroics.

Edman
10-08-2012, 11:24 AM
If this were last year or the year before, the Steelers lose this game. It's been a while since we saw this kind of Ben Roethlisberger magic.

Like Killer said though, if Cotchery doesn't trip all over himself when he had a red carpet entry to the End Zone and the WR's don't get a case of the dropsies, this outcome is a little different.

Fire Haley
10-08-2012, 12:05 PM
Like someone said though, if Cotchery doesn't trip all over himself when he had a red carpet entry to the End Zone and the WR's don't get a case of the dropsies, this outcome is a little different.

someone?

I just said that - like 1 inch above your head

Edman
10-08-2012, 12:42 PM
someone?

I just said that - like 1 inch above your head

Well, I was too lazy to look. I still mean it though.

Fire Haley
10-08-2012, 12:54 PM
well it was a sloppy win, but I'll take it

hopefully Ben's WR's feel enough shame that they will catch everything thrown their way Thursday night

and don't trip over the lines

Hawaii 5-0
10-08-2012, 01:36 PM
I heard a stat saying, for all the games BB has in 4th qtr comeback, yesterday's was only the 2nd win in the last 2 seasons. Not sure if true.

I know Ben would have at least one more 4th quarter comeback if our defense hadn't let Joe Flacco go 92 yards at the end of our 2nd game against the Ravens last season...

MillerMania83
10-08-2012, 10:35 PM
Big Ben, what can ya say....He is the FREAKIN' MAN...He's a BEAST, the guy is just a WINNER, flat out WINNER....He might not make all the right decisions all the time, but he gives his all every play and gives a 110% every game....There IS NOT another QB in the league I would rather want on my team than #7, there just isn't....He'll always give ya a chance to win....And as we are seeing this year, he's in the prime of his career and he's just getting better and better....If we ever get that O-line playing at a high top-notch level, skies the limit for Ben, SKIES THE LIMIT!!!!!

OX1947
10-08-2012, 11:40 PM
Big Ben, what can ya say....He is the FREAKIN' MAN...He's a BEAST, the guy is just a WINNER, flat out WINNER....He might not make all the right decisions all the time, but he gives his all every play and gives a 110% every game....There IS NOT another QB in the league I would rather want on my team than #7, there just isn't....He'll always give ya a chance to win....And as we are seeing this year, he's in the prime of his career and he's just getting better and better....If we ever get that O-line playing at a high top-notch level, skies the limit for Ben, SKIES THE LIMIT!!!!!

His decision making this year has been perfect. Seriously, I cant think of any plays where he made a horrible decision.

austinfrench76
10-09-2012, 12:03 AM
The reality lately has been that BB hasn't stepped up in these situations so I'm just glad he engineered the drive this time. I have said many times on this board, I take BB over any other QB in the league but with the last 2 mins in the GB SB, the Denver game this year - both situations where we have the ball and an opportunity to win the game and he didn't get it done. And yes, there are multiple palyers involved and it's not a 1 man sport BUT look at every team in the NFL that is worth a damn. They have a very good QB and the one's that don't, aren't! BB matters more. It's just a fact.

maddog78
10-09-2012, 07:24 AM
I heard a stat saying, for all the games BB has in 4th qtr comeback, yesterday's was only the 2nd win in the last 2 seasons. Not sure if true.

Well, they're 14-6 during that time. He gave the D a 10-point lead in Oakland before they choked it away. He gave the team the lead v. Baltimore last year and Flacco drove 92 yards to win it with 10 seconds left. Brought them back in Denver in the playoffs to watch the defense choke it away.

He failed to do it in Denver to open the season. What other opportunity has he had?

teegre
10-09-2012, 07:55 AM
The reality lately has been that BB hasn't stepped up in these situations so I'm just glad he engineered the drive this time. I have said many times on this board, I take BB over any other QB in the league but with the last 2 mins in the GB SB, the Denver game this year - both situations where we have the ball and an opportunity to win the game and he didn't get it done. And yes, there are multiple palyers involved and it's not a 1 man sport BUT look at every team in the NFL that is worth a damn. They have a very good QB and the one's that don't, aren't! BB matters more. It's just a fact.

BB has (arguably) the BEST comeback drive in SupeeBowl history (XLIII).

The end if XLV was a calvacade of bad plays after bad plays: running the ball out if the end-zone (instead of using those 7 seconds for BB); Keyoran Fox's personal foul; not calling a time out in order to get on the same page (Wallace ran the wrong route); et cetera.

The DENV play-off game, BB drove them into game-winning FG range... only to be sacked three times, taking them out of FG range (those sacks occurred milliseconds after the snap, when the O-line became a sieve).

The BALT game, it felt like PITT took their foot off of the gas (once they crossed the 50), and then PITT couldn't get that final first down that would have sealed the victory. True, BB didn't connect on the final third down, but those last five or six plays (compared to the first four or five if that drive) felt & looked different: playing not to lose.

In both play-off games, before XLV, BB made critical completions (long completions) in order to seal those victories. While they weren't "come from behind", they were just as impressive.