NFL

Did We Witness the Start of Big Ben’s Decline?

Well, I have a feeling this post will not be that popular, but there is certainly a case to be made that Ben was far from the best player in the last 11 games.   Let me show you why.

During the Steelers 8 game winning streak to end the season Ben was a factor during half of those games.  In the final 4 games, Ben threw 6 interceptions and was far from their best player.   Roethlisberger had 9 touchdowns in his final 8 games.   If you do the math on that and take that out for an entire season, he would have finished with an average just over 1 per game.  That is just not going to make it.  Let’s take that a step further.   His post season numbers were atrocious including 4 interceptions to just 3 touchdowns.  He had an average QBR rating in the mid 50’s.

His best game came in the first playoff game against the Miami Dolphins.  He was asked to do very little and threw 2 touchdowns and had 2 interceptions.

While all of this was going on, you had him changing plays at the line and throwing long on 3rd and short in that New England game in back to back drives.  He would complete neither pass and the Steelers would go down 10-0 early.   It was those poor decisions that help lead that Steelers team to that lopsided loss.  After the PATRIOTS scored the first TD, the Steelers needed to possess the ball for more than a 3 and out.  And after 9 rushing yards on the first two plays, a short pass or a possession pass would have been enough.   But instead, poor decisions and Ben’s need to make big plays all the time drove the Steelers out of their good game plan.

When this Steelers team was playing well and converting it was Le’Veon Bell that was leading the way.  Even when the other team knew he was coming, they could not stop him.  The only thing that stops Bell….. is Bell, Either with injury or failed drug tests.

Big Ben finished the season with way too many poor decisions and turnovers.  The Steelers have the third highest odds of getting to a SuperBowl next season.   If Ben does not play better, that has absolutely no chance of happening.

I think this is worth mentioning also.  In the past, Ben has owned all mistakes.   He would go out of his way to blame himself.  This season, we have seen him time and again, blame the young guys for everything.  Maybe they are at fault.  That is possible.  With that said, I think that he glossed over his poor play late in the season while dwelling on the wins.   He prides himself on being the leader of this team.  Leaders take blame and own it.  Ben has done it in the past, but not so much in the last 11 games of the season.

Although they won most of those, he was more times than not … not the reason they would win.

2017 Draft:  Is it time to draft a new QB?  I would say if it is going to happen, now would be as good a time as any if one was available.

It may sound ridiculous.  I am not saying trade him, let him go, or move on if you get one.  I have not gone that far off the deep end…. yet. What I am saying is at 35, I don’t see him getting better.  So as the season went, his play declined.  I think that could be more of the norm moving forwward which is natural with MOST players in the NFL.

We will see what happens,but for those that would like to blame the defense for everything I would hold back some of that angst.  Some of that can be planted firmly on Big Ben’s back also.

 

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