Do we need to be concerned about Big Ben and the Steelers? We were all spoilt by Tom Brady's fall: For the majority of quarterbacks, the fall is still shocking and steep. Ben Roethlisberger looks like he was playing full Thelma, Louise and jumped off an cliff.
Steven Ruiz, the Ringer's director of video productions cut Ben's throws to the Bengals on Sunday, and then re-enacted them in grainy, western-style video footage with saloon tunes on the background. It was the most fun thing I saw on Monday, but it's also one of the most sad because Ben appears completely clean.
The Steelers decided not to invest substantial resources into the offensive line during the offseason and it has resulted in a lack of running game, despite the fact that they drafted Najee Harris in the first round. Harris got 19 (!) Harris did catch 14 passes and was one of the targets on Sunday's pass game. Lindsay Rhodes had me on her show on Monday, and she shared this information: Harris had 109 yards after the catch that resulted in 102 receiving yards. This is amazing!
The situation is confirmed by Ben's Next Gen Stats passing charts. The combination of these two factors has made this offensive horizontal. The player doesn't have any protection and doesn't have the strength required to move the ball downfield quickly.
Steelers have hoped to protect but the secondary wasn't well-equipped and the defense line which is the strength of the team, has been hindered by a number of players. One of the most prominent is T.J. Watt, who was forced to miss Sunday's game due to a groin injury. The second he went out two weeks ago the Steelers defense was weak and became a major issue for Joe Burrow on Sunday as well. It's incredibly difficult to imagine a path to fix these issues.
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