PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — It isn’t blasphemy, it’s reality.
It’s the unadulterated and pure truth, no matter what vantage you have of the Steelers’ offense — quarterback Ben Roethlisberger needs to be better. He needs to be much better. And it’s OK to ask him to be better.
The guy isn’t free from criticism, nor should he escape blame, no matter how much of a “Ben guy” anyone in this town might be.
Funny thing is, Ben knows it.
“The quarterback needs to play better,” Roethlisberger said on Wednesday during a media availability in the Steelers’ locker room.
Pointing a thumb at himself and not a finger at others. Man, I like it.
That’s what a leader does and how one acts.
But to follow up on the point he made and the most pressing thing with the Steelers right now after an embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears this past weekend — uh, yeah, the quarterback needs to play better.
To wit, this offense that was supposed to put up astronomical numbers more akin to what you might see from some five-wide, throw-it-a-ton college offense is averaging just a shade above 300 yards per game.
They haven’t hit the 30-point mark in any of their three games yet and Roethlisberger posted a measly 56.4 completion percentage in that aforementioned overtime loss to the Bears, going 22 for 39 for 235 yards.
So I’m to the point where I’m ready to see Roethlisberger — who admitted he’s been keying in too much on Antonio Brown — win games with his right arm. I don’t know if it is possible, but I think he still does have that magic left and I want to see it. More so, the Steelers might need to see it.
I want to see Ben string together some completions and push those guys down the field with (bing-bang-boom) precision pass followed by dart followed by a throw only the great ones can make.
We have seen that from Ben before; it’s time we see it again.
Sure, Le’Veon Bell has struggled mightily this season, but have we seen the surgeon-like exactness from Ben yet? I don’t think so.
And I’m only asking for it because I think it is fair to ask it of Ben Roethlisberger and because, in the past, we have seen it so many times.
For certain, there are other factors. As noted, Bell hasn’t been good and every single receiver not named Antonio Brown has seemed to underachieve.
All that said, however, it is OK to expect enchanted performances from Roethlisberger. It is downright fine to want more from the guy who we all know — and he knows — can be so much better.
Starting this Sunday against the Ravens, I think it’s high time to stop waiting around to see if the other factors will shake themselves out.
I think it’s reasonable to want Big Ben to take over games.