Ben Rothlisberger Has Become Too Valuable!

Paul BaronnerContributor ISeptember 19, 2009

SAN DIEGO -  OCTOBER 10:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is helped off the field by team physicians with an injured left knee during the Steelers' game-winning drive in NFL action against the San Diego Chargers October 10, 2005 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

What do I mean by saying this? Well I could start with the fact, that if Ben goes down,the Steelers season is finished; at least as far as defending their Super Bowl championship goes.

What other player on the Steelers can't be replaced? Even the great Troy Polamalu can miss a game or have an off week and they still win. Before it was known as to how serious Troy's recent injury was, I didn't hear many people saying the season was over if he couldn't make it back this year.

I seriously doubt this would be the case if "Big Ben" went down.

Ben has become such a vital part of the offense, to the point that Charlie Batch can only be considered a temporary fill in at best. Charlie isn't going to be scrambling around out there, keeping plays alive like Ben does; if he does he'll be injured in no time.

Now Charlie Batch is a very capable quarterback, when managing an offense that has a good running game and very good protection; unfortunately he may have neither at this point, if called upon to replace Ben.

If some of you are thinking "how about Dennis Dixon", well first off he's still a little green; secondly the question remains of whether or not he is any more durable than Charlie Batch

Now back to my original point; the way Bruce Arians has this offense going, Ben has to carry them! All you have to do is look at the Titan's game, for all the oohing and aahing over Roethlisberger"s passing stats against Tennessee, what we really were looking at was a dysfunctional offense.

Take a closer look at that game. While 33 completions and a close score made for an exciting game overall, one touchdown for the offense and Willie Parker's 13 carries for 19 yards were anything, but exciting.

Until Sunday I thought a high powered passing attack meant scoring a lot of points.

Yes, I know the Titans are a good team and yes I do expect the Steelers running game to improve, but that's not what I'm talking about. Steeler games have turned into that "King of Queens episode where Kevin James is playing football against a bunch of kids and he's running all over those kids and all over the field.

The difference is "Big Ben" isn't "that much bigger" than his competition as Kevin James was. Eventually Ben is going to get hurt! Heck even pocket passers get hurt on a regular basis. If he continues to take the beating he has endured the last few years, he may even be shortening his career?

I know Ben has gone head first through a windshield and has done many heroic deeds, but he's not Superman! (O.K. for you guy's under 10 years old, he is superman)

If Ben does get hurt this year, I hope they've straightened out the running game by then or they're quest for a second straight title will be about over.

As far as Bruce Arians is concerned, I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they've proved me wrong, but honestly I think the Steelers offensive coordinator is quickly reaching that point.

The running game is in shambles, which has forced the quarterback to revert to sandlot football in order to squeak out wins and while this may be entertaining it has made said quarterback an unnaturally important and large part of the offense, so much so, that if Ben goes down this year, so might all the chances of the Steelers repeating.