It’s a week that started like no other in his 17 – year NFL career, but it ended like he and many of his teammates this season. When the dust settled and the stadium was empty, the Steelers took a 9-0 lead thanks to a 36-10 win over Cincinnati Bengal.
Ben Rothlisberger came to the Steelers via the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft, and it did not take him long to establish himself as an owner quarterback. Starting in a Super Bowl and becoming the youngest quarterback to win it was a good start, but Rothlisberger won another championship a few seasons after that. In his application are crown ornaments, and he has supported those with a more consistent production, which has moved his name all the time to the list of statistical categories.
But this is not a testament to the amount of his accomplishments, but rather an account of what he has done for the Steelers recently. Or more precisely, what he does to the Steelers now.
Rothlisberger’s 2020 season is not just a tour of nostalgia lasting a few months, it ignites memories of those glorious days when the old man was sent on his way, but instead it’s a new chapter in a story book career.
Although surgery on his right elbow and a lot of rehab from that procedure took place a calendar ago, it has become a part of him, and the Steelers, 2020 story. A comeback based on something more complex than the Steelers creating a franchise to open a season with eight was a successful win and then added that record to ninth, which came in the honor of the Bengals at Haynes Field.
Through the first eight, Rothlisberger finished 68.1 percent of his pass at 1,934 yards, with 18 touchdowns, four interceptions and a 101.8 rating. Very good numbers, of course, but if you take them and plan for the 16-game season, he has had some great years in which he put in more effort and finished many more and passed for more yards. But the things he did have never had such a positive impact on his team.
Nov. Sometimes a quarterback in these situations can be referred to as a maestro, but not only does Rothlisberger lead the band, he also actively contributes to his smarts and right hand.
The extent of Rothlisberger’s control of the second half of the Ravens game is known only to those directly involved in it, but looking at it, it is clear that he is making way more than simply implementing what he is called to do. Paint somewhat outside the lines, be sure, but do it in a way that does not deviate from the image.
Against the Ravens in the first half on November 1, the Steelers offense was useless, unable to bear its weight and contributed to the victory. The same thing happened during the big length of the game against the Cowboys in Dallas next Sunday. Then a lot of pretense was dropped against the Bengals and given control before Rothlisberger and kept in control for a long time. In fact, he seemed to be running things until Mason Rudolph got relief.
As it turns out today, giving control to Rothlisberger is the only way for the Steelers to produce crime. Not running football, not being effective anyway, not even against the Cowboys and the Bengals, its defense has not presented a token resistance against the run all season. In plays involving actually handing the ball over for a run and trying to stop him, the Steelers managed 48 yards out of 16 attempts, and those two attempts accounted for 24 of those yards.
The rest are all Rothlisberger. Third-bottom transitions, red zone win, four touchdowns. Again and again he was accused of making plays, and most of the time he was given. He was more accurate on the deeper balls than he was. He was just in time with the short throw. His recipients got the football, which usually kept it away from the Bengals defenders. All of this was done primarily by a team of four broad recipients and Eric Efron, who was primarily on the field to serve as Rothlisberger’s bodyguard when those occasions included James Connor.
“You know, I think they’re talented footballers,” said Rothlisberger of the staffing team. “They do plays, it’s not always beautiful, I’m not always give them a good pass, but we’ll move the guys enough, and they understand the ideas and understand the paths. When in those packages, a lot of times, a lot falls in line, because a lot (guys) have no security. You have no tight ends. You have no back to help. So, whoever rushes in is five guys. We put numbers in, but it really starts with the people who give it to me. It’s time for the playmakers to get the ball and let them make plays. ”
A week after Rothlisberger was isolated for close contact with a player who tested positive for COVID-19, he was only admitted to the UPMC Rooney playground for testing and medical treatment. No work on the field is allowed, no work on the field is viewed live, and no direct contact with coaches or team members.
Coach Mike Tomlin has publicly stated on more than one occasion that his decision to start Rothlisberger was not a brainstorm, and it was shown that when the Steelers turned the blame on him it was more than lip service.
“As I said earlier in the week, there was less concern in dealing with Ben in these situations, and he and I were a factor in getting his health better than some of the situations in the past,” Tomlin said. “His health was not a factor, so there was very little about his ability when we took him to the stadium.”
When the Steelers arrive on the field, their safety is what their defense to the quarterbacks does. Joe Burrow is a talented and talented quarterback, but against the Steelers he was less than his usual self. He completed 53 per cent, was sacked four times and struck nine times in total, the Bengals crossed 200 net yards, and the offense was 0-for-13 in the third lows, and 2-for-16 in possession falls.
Assuming that the initial possessions of each half were important to the end, the Steelers defense forced three balls and recovered one of Cincinnati’s first four possessions in the first half, then forced four straight balls into Cincinnati’s first half into the second half.
“Man, we’re so proud of them today because it’s been a challenging week,” Tomlin said. “It’s not been a very fluid week for us in dealing with COVID the way we should be. We had a lot of notable comrades who were not allowed to come to work. And it’s good to come up with something out of the ordinary, and it’s worth it. ”
Okay, so the Steelers are not a one man group. But that is not the only team without a man.
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