As we all know, Ben Roethlisberger was involved in a motorcycle accident in which he wasn’t wearing a helmet. While this wasn’t against the law, it was incredibly stupid, we can all admit that, including him. During the accident, he broke his jaw, his nose, and also ruptured a blood vessel.
Roethlisberger healed in enough time to show up to training camp but soon came up with a case of appendicitis. He missed the season opener and even when he returned, he wasn’t the same player that he had been in his previous years.
Perhaps this was due to the injury or perhaps it was due to the fact that he was asked to throw the ball a lot more than he had ever thrown it before as the Steelers seemed to be falling behind in games.
He received another injury week seven of the regular season, getting a concussion stemming from a Patrick Kerney hit. He did however return to the starting lineup and once more this season continued to be a very streaky player.
The Steelers missed the playoffs that year, but they also knocked out AFC North rivals the Cincinnati Bengals out of the playoffs before they even began, beating them in over-time in the final game of the season.
Ben was the one to beat the Bengals, well, either Ben or Santonio Holmes. Roethlisberger completed a 67-yard touchdown pass in over time to the Ohio State product to shut down the Bengals year.
Ben didn’t have a great year by any standards but he did finish with his highest number of passing yards with 3,513. He also however threw more interceptions (23) than touchdowns (18).
Three times during the season Roethlisberger’s quarterback rating was below 50. Not to mention the fact that Baltimore sacked him nine times during a week 12 game. He ultimately ended the year giving up 46 sacks for 280 yards.
His bright spots however were very bright, each netting him a trio of touchdown passes. The first coming in a week seven loss against the Atlanta Falcons (the game that he suffered the concussion) and the second coming in a week 10 win against the New Orleans Saints.
Did the motorcycle accident change Ben forever? Or was this just a bad year for him?
Perhaps it was just a spurt of bad luck?
After all, he did only miss one game due to injury this year, though he was banged up for the majority of the year and played nothing like the previous years.
Hopefully he rebounds in 2007 and removes any doubt from anyone inside or outside of the Steel City. We shall see how the 2007 campaign goes for Roethlisberger in the next article.