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Old 10-17-2010, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default Vintage Roethlisberger!

Vintage Roethlisberger!

Sunday, October 17, 2010 04:05 PM
Written by Bob Smizik

On a near-perfect fall afternoon, Ben Roethlisberger returned to the Steelers and the National Football League with a performance that almost was as splendid as the day.

Starting with a rousing ovation from the forgiving season-ticket holders and interrupted only by an early interception, Roethlisberger was pretty much the elite quarterback he has become. There was scant evidence that he had missed the first four games and hadn't played since the exhibition season.

Coach Mike Tomlin, his staff and the team have superbly orchestrated Roethlisberger's absence and his return.

It was more than the fact Roethlisberger completed 16 of 27 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns in a 28-10 win. Those numbers were good for a 112.7 passer rating, but it was, as is always the case with Roethlisberger, the other things that had does that make the difference.

His ability to keep plays alive -- yes, sometimes to the team's detriment -- was there. Better still, his ability to shrug off tacklers and even throw successfully with monstrous defensive linemen hanging on him was there.

''He creates out of nothing,'' offensive tackle Max Starks said.

It was the full Roethlisberger package -- the tools that put him in the elite class in the NFL.

The Browns, to their credit, provided significant competition. The game was not, as some expected with Cleveland down to its third-string quarterback, a rout. It was 7-3 at the halftime, more a tribute to the Cleveland defense than any Roethlisberger rust.

But Roethlisberger clearly with in top form in the second half. Midway through the third quarter, he directed the Steelers on a five-play, 96-yard drive on which he threw 50 yards to Mike Wallace, 36 to Heath Miller and 8 to Hines Ward for the touchdown.

It was vintage Roethlisberger.

The Steelers passed 27 times and ran the ball 35 times for 121 yards. That's a ratio that should satisfy even the most bitter critics of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

The defense did not allow a touchdown for the first 55 minutes and continued to acquit itself well. Quarterback Colt McCoy, in his first NFL start, threw for 285 yards, completing 23 of 33. He was sacked five times and played well enough -- against a top defense -- to turn this emergency start into a regular's role.

Roethlisberger's return came none too soon. The Steelers begin their toughest patch of schedule next week with three consecutive road games at Miami, New Orleans and Cincinnati followed by a home game with New England.

It daunting, but with Roethlisberger back and in top form, it's also manageable.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Vintage Roethlisberger!

It really is great to have him back !!!!!!
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Vintage Roethlisberger!

Originally Posted by BURNSY View Post
It really is great to have him back !!!!!!
Ditto. The plays that he made through the air was astounding. He started rusty, but everyone forgets that the dude hasn't played in 5 weeks and was throwing to high schoolers. He was making throws out there that Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwhich or Dennis Dixon would only DREAM of making. This offense is explosion with Benny R. Glad to have the big dude back!
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Vintage Roethlisberger!

Definitely great to have him back! Also great that, even though they were battered up a little throughout the game, the OL was able to keep him from getting sacked. That was huge for us. It's only gonna get better from here IMO.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Vintage Roethlisberger!

hah, i was even cheering the incomplete passes he threw where he was in the defenders' grasp. I was thinking to myself if that was any of our other qbs (except dixon) it for sure would have been a sack.

of course dixon could evade pass rushers, but i don't see him throwing 3 TD's :) Great to have Ben back
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