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Old 11-10-2009, 06:19 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09314/1012228-66.stm

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes last night.

DENVER -- Let me see if I have the scenario right ...

You went to the bathroom last night immediately after Denver linebacker Robert Ayers picked up a fumble by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and rumbled 54 yards for a touchdown that gave the Broncos a 10-7 lead early in the third quarter. You still were cursing Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu for getting beat to the outside by defensive end Kenny Peterson and giving up the sack that forced the Roethlisberger fumble. You stopped at the fridge for a cold adult beverage on the way back to the TV room, all the while muttering a few more choice words about Kemoeatu. You plopped down in your favorite soft chair, looked at the score and were pleasantly shocked to see the Steelers ahead, 14-10.

Honest to goodness, it happened that fast.

Just as Roethlisberger predicted, as it turned out.

It was the best part of an impressive 28-10 win that kept the Steelers in a first-place tie with the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North Division heading into their suddenly intriguing matchup Sunday at Heinz Field.

You should have seen Roethlisberger during the TV timeout after the Peterson-Ayers splash play. He went to each member of his offensive unit, told them to forget about it and promised that things were going to be OK. Of course, he spent an extra moment with Kemoeatu, who said he "felt sick in the gut" after the sack.

"Let it go," the big guard recalled Big Ben saying. "Move on to next play. Do something to make up for it."

Said Roethlisberger: "Everybody makes mistakes. It's like when I throw a pick. There's nothing you can do about it. I know he was hurting. All you can do is head-butt him and encourage him."

And, in Roethlisberger's case, make sure the sack and fumble were minor footnotes to the Steelers' fifth consecutive win.

Four plays and 80 yards later ...

On first down from the Steelers' 20, running his pet no-huddle offense, Roethlisberger threw a dart of a sideline pass to wide receiver Mike Wallace for 18 yards. Running back Rashard Mendenhall, who had a huge night with 155 rushing yards, followed that up with a 24-yard gain around right end to the Broncos' 38. Roethlisberger then saw that All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey had wide receiver Santonio Holmes in single coverage. Bailey is great, but he couldn't stop a sweet 35-yard pass to Holmes that gave the Steelers a first-and-goal at the Denver 3. Next play? Roethlisberger fired the ball perfectly through traffic to wide receiver Hines Ward in the back middle of the end zone.

If the Steelers go on to win the division, they'll look back at those four plays as one of the most critical sequences of the season.

"Yeah, I get mad after plays like that," Roethlisberger said. "But I also have to laugh because there's nothing you can do about it. I guess it's like when you're playing basketball and you're driving to the basket and the defender takes the ball from you and scores on the other end. You want the ball right back so you can go at him again."

That 14-10 lead held up until midway through the fourth quarter when Roethlisberger made one more big play. He stepped up in the pocket on a third-and-10 play and found Wallace behind safety Brian Dawkins for a 25-yard touchdown.

On a night when the offense wasn't at its best for much of the game -- it had 54 total yards in the first half -- Roethlisberger made sure it was good enough to beat a Broncos team that came in 6-1, the second-best record in the AFC. He threw another touchdown pass to Ward in the final two minutes, his second three-touchdown game of the season.

I can't get past those four plays in the third quarter.

" 'Keep on truckin'. I have all the faith in the world in you guys,' " guard Trai Essex said of his sideline conversation with Roethlisberger. "When someone like him tells you that, you believe him."

You might remember this same sort of thing happened in the Steelers' 28-20 win Oct. 11 at Detroit. Roethlisberger threw a second-quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown that cut the Steelers' lead to 14-13. Roethlisberger went right to coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians on the sideline and asked to go to the no-huddle. Six plays and 52 yards later ...

Roethlisberger was 4 of 4 for 47 yards on that drive, which also ended with Ward catching a touchdown pass.

"Ben doesn't blink," Tomlin said after that game.

Certainly, Roethlisberger didn't last night.

I'm wondering if maybe he should start the big game Sunday against the Bengals by throwing a pick-six.

OK, just kidding.

I think.
Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09314...#ixzz0WSU5LeHl
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

Ben does what a true leader should do - he motivates the guys around him and encourages them to shake off mistakes and get back to playing hard. Ben never gives up no matter what and "his boys" emulate him which can only be a good thing.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

What a victory. I'll conduct myself with class today in front of all these so called Donkey fans, but I know they're boiling inside. I LOVE IT!

Anyway, nice read. Ben was a true leader out there yesterday. He sure knows how to get the best out of his line.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

Ben has really matured nicely - he's come so far in the last couple of years it's amazing. He's the undisputed leader of this team now.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

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Ben has really matured nicely - he's come so far in the last couple of years it's amazing. He's the undisputed leader of this team now.
Absolutely.

I love the way he instills confidence in the team---especially the Big Boys Up Front.
Guys go All-Out for a Leader like that. And it's becoming clear that these guys do.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

Ben just continues to amaze me. He is a great leader and the best part about him is he has a short memory. The bad plays are forgotten and the team moves onto the next. Like Mendenhall said after the game, "We don't blink". Short memory and move forward with making big plays after bad ones happen. Great stuff!
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

That was a fantastic drive.

Funny...I've seen him make a Fantastic Drive before...when was that...oh right....HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO!!!
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
Ben does what a true leader should do - he motivates the guys around him and encourages them to shake off mistakes and get back to playing hard. Ben never gives up no matter what and "his boys" emulate him which can only be a good thing.
Yeah but Steve Young fails to acknowledge that Roethlisberger is an elite QB because Young wants to evaluate Roethlisberger from the pocket. Just brilliant Steve, lets take away one of Roethlisberger's greatest assets. Stay in the pocket just like the big woosie's P. Manning and Tom Brady do. That way we can all truly evaluate you as a QB Ben.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

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Ben has really matured nicely - he's come so far in the last couple of years it's amazing. He's the undisputed leader of this team now.

You will know when Ben has reached the pinnacle of his position when you see him throw away that ball instead of forcing it to the receiver for a pick. That is the final checkdown missing in his repertoire.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Roethlisberger changes game

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Yeah but Steve Young fails to acknowledge that Roethlisberger is an elite QB because Young wants to evaluate Roethlisberger from the pocket. Just brilliant Steve, lets take away one of Roethlisberger's greatest assets. Stay in the pocket just like the big woosie's P. Manning and Tom Brady do. That way we can all truly evaluate you as a QB Ben.

Young was still looking for time on the clock during the post-game interviews! He was trying to play armchair QB and completely embarassing himself. I thought he was going to pick up a football and hit the field.

The other douche' bag who picked the Broncos did not sound happy either when they knew the game was in the bag in the 3rd Q.
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