PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Even though the Steelers’ offense hadn’t produced any wins prior to Sunday, and even in though it still struggled at times in a 19-6 victory over the Jets, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger proved it might not be time to give up on them yet.
Big Ben is on pace for a career-best 4,784 yards this season after going 23 of 30 for 264 yards and a 55-yard touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders that secured that elusive first win.
Furthermore, Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown were on the same page much of the day, as the latter finished with a nice 89 yards on six grabs and continues to distance himself from Mike Wallace comparisons.
In a week wrought with more injuries (free-agent offensive lineman Levi Brown was hurt immediately prior to Sunday’s game) and more off-the-field distractions involving offensive coordinator Todd Haley, both player and coach silenced at least a few critics with Sunday’s result.
“It is pretty clear watching the Steelers play that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is trying to do his best to work with and within Todd Haley’s offensive system. There are times that it is obvious what Roethlisberger wants to do is not what the coaches want him to do,” Bleacher Report featured NFL columnist Curt Popejoy writes. “Nevertheless, Roethlisberger just keeps making throws. Even with a makeshift offensive line, Roethlisberger made all the plays and is on pace for a career year.”
Click here to read the full column by Popejoy, including other important takeaways–such as how the Steelers won the takeway battle–from Sunday’s game.
As Popejoy notes, rookie running back Le’Veon Bell is to be commended for another productive day. He only finished with 56 all-purpose yards, but, as was the case in his overseas debut against the Vikings, he gave the Steelers another way to create time and space offensively behind a badly banged-up line.
“What happened was the Steelers were able to commit to the run game, for better or worse, for the entirety of the contest,” Popejoy says. “It made the play-action passing game so much more effective and forced the Jets to play a single deep safety and, at times, no deep safety for a good chunk of the game.”
Also keying the win was kicker Shaun Suisham, who is quietly enjoying a fine season, going 4-for-4 on field goal attempts at MetLife Stadium yesterday to make himself 10-for-10 on the year.
The Steelers host the 3-3 Baltimore Ravens, who are coming off a 19-17 loss to Green Bay, at 4:25 Sunday on KDKA-TV.