The Pittsburgh Steelers have managed to hang on to their hopes and aspirations without Ben Roethlisberger, but heading into a big divisional matchup against one of the best teams in the NFL, it’s better to have your best quarterback on the field.
The Steelers went 2-2 with Michael Vick and Landry Jones filling in for Roethlisberger, and are probably a few better Josh Scobee kicks away from being 5-2 and looking like a serious threat to the Bengals in the suddenly not so good AFC North, which looked like the best and most loaded division in football last season. Things looked really embarrassing offensively against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, a team that couldn’t score points against anyone previously.
One thing to remember: The Steelers don’t always do so well when Roethlisberger just comes back from injury, and shaking off the rust often comes with a loss. They’ve lost 2-of-6 games in which he made a comeback from injury, averaging only 15.8 points in these games compared to the team’s 23.4 points average during all over Roethlisberger’s games. His TD-INT ratio drops to just 1.1 compared to his career ratio of 1.9.
But considering Vick is on the verge of realizing he isn’t going to play in the NFL again (unless it’s a real emergency) and Jones, despite a solid cameo appearance in the win against the Arizona Cardinals, doesn’t instill too much confidence in the Steelers heading into their game against the Bengals, going with a recovering Roethlisberger, a quarterback who can take hits (and get hits a lot) better than any other quarterback in the league, is probably their best option.
So far this season, coming off a career year and a massive contract extension, Roethlisberger has an impressive 113.1 passer rating with four touchdown passes and two interceptions, completing 75.3% of his passes. He also has a 91.3 QBR in the three and a bit games he has managed to play, mostly thanks to his performance in the beatdown of the San Francisco 49ers.