ASHLAND, K.Y.– Tick -tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. That clock you had set for the return of the NFL’s best quarterback is about to strike zero. Steeler Nation is about experience the re-birth of Ben Roethlisberger. Let’s see if the NFL can handle the impending destruction he’s about to unleash.
Simply put, Ben Roethlisberger is a game changer. His career numbers since he stepped foot on an NFL field have been nothing less than astounding. He owns a career passer rating of 91.7, good for 9th all-time. Of the five quarterbacks ahead of Ben that are active, three have won Super Bowls, with Tom Brady the only one of that group having more titles.
Roethlisberger is a dominant, impact player who can move the chains when needed. He can be counted on to make a key throw for a completion on 3rd down, allude a pass-rusher with the grace of Gene Kelly and lead a team down field for the winning score. He’s done it before and will do it again.
From his 1st NFL start, Roethlisberger has demonstrated an ability to do the impossible. He won every regular season game (13) that he started as a rookie, posting a passer rating of 100 or better in eight of those games, including a rating of 158.0 at Jacksonville in December of 2004. The highest passer rating you can register is 158.3 folks and he’s done that three times.
Roethlisberger was 18-2 in his 1st 20 regular season starts. When his passer rating is 100 or better, the Steelers are 33-4.
Are you serious? Really? What quarterback puts numbers up like that?
Who can forget the way he played on the road of the 2005 NFL playoffs against Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver. His combined numbers of 49 of 72 for 680 yards with 7 TD passes and just 1 INT is astounding. That’s a completion rate of 68% and an average passer rating of 122.9 during that three game stretch.
Eye popping stats to say the least.
And what about his play in SB XLIII against the Arizona Cardinals? Prior to the clinching 78-yard drive, Roethlisberger had led 17 game-winning 4th quarter or OT drives since 2004, the most in the NFL over that span.
Was it any surprise that he got that ball to Santonio Holmes in the corner of the end-zone with three Cardinal defenders around him?
I didn’t think so either.
For those who wish to look at what Ben did or did not do in March while visiting Milledgeville, Georgia with scorn are just beating a dead horse.
There is no doubt that Ben’s behavior was poor, to say the least. His attitude towards those he encountered in area establishments also came into question. Big Ben got a big head and bad attitude after winning two Super Bowls. The world was his oyster. People worshiped him and it went to his head. He treated many people he encountered like dirt.
Perhaps he has learned his lesson and is changing for the better. Let’s just cross our fingers that the bad behaving Ben Roethlisberger never shows up again. I think it’s safe to say Roethlisberger is taking the necessary steps in his life to correct that behavior he displayed leading up to the Milledgeville escapade.
One can only hope.
The rest of the world has moved on. If you choose to keep throwing fuel on that fire, you are in the ever shrinking minority.
My suggestion. Let it go and move on.
So the stage is set for Sunday. Cleveland comes to town a battered football team. They will be starting a rookie at quarterback against a defense that feasts on opposing clubs like a hungry dog attacks a gristly ham bone. Colt McCoy who was a very good field general while at Texas is walking into the Lion’s den with a very large target on his back.
And Ben Roethlisberger returns to the field of play.
Get to your seat early. I feel Ben’s going to put on a show that we will all be talking about for a long time.
John Phillips is a talk-show host for Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan and can be heard this coming Sunday night after midnight when the Indianapolis Colts visit the Washington Redskins.