The controversy that was the end of the Steelers and Chargers game last Sunday was not the biggest thing on my mind after the game. It was not that I witnessed the first ever 11-10 final score in an NFL game. Nor was it the fact that we won. I was focused on the fact the for the first time in what seems like forever, Ben Roethlisberger did not throw a pick.
Not only did he throw no picks, but threw more than 25 passes and still won the game. He did not throw a TD, but no INTs. He also threw for 308 yards.
For the majority of the game, he threw short, accurate, consistent passes that lead the team down the field only to score...three field goals. But he threw no picks! You may have noticed I'm rather excited that he threw no picks, what is that like four times so far?
Anyway, he didn't and we won, who would've thought that would happen right? And considering he had thrown eight picks in his previous three games put together, the 0 in the touchdown column is fine with me.
His play on Sunday lead me to ask myself this question. Has Big Ben finally turned it around this season?
Hopefully yes, because with the Ravens right on the Steelers' heels in the division race, the team needs great consistent play form Roethlisberger.
Obviously the Steelers rely on Roethlisberger heavily in the offense and when he plays bad, the team doesn't do too well. The statistics show that when Ben throws more INTs than TDs, the team loses, with the exception of the Washington game. Which is the case for most teams, but in the Steelers losses this season he has thrown a total of eight INTs to just one TD. Not a good stat to have.
Clearly the key to winning games seems to be to give Ben the ball when near he endzone and let him throw for a score. Most teams are looking for the run in goal line situations, so this could work in the Steelers' favor.
But what I saw from Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday was confidence. I have a feeling his confidence level dropped severely after the loss to the Giants where he threw four picks which lead to his deteriorating play the next few weeks.
And with less confidence comes less comfort in the offense. If Ben is not comfortable throwing the ball, then there can be almost no productivity in the offense.
For the true answer to the question of whether Ben has turned it around, we will have to wait until November 30 when he travels to New England to play the Pats. He does have a game before then against the Bengals on Thursday, but that will not be a true test of his skill considering the Bengals are just 1-8-1.