Labriola on victory over Bengals

It was a week that started like no other in his 17-year NFL career, but it ended for him and his teammates the way many have this season. And when the dust had settled and the stadium was empty, the Steelers prevailed 9–0 for a 36–10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ben Roethlisberger came through the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft for the Steelers, and it didn’t take him long to establish himself as a franchise quarterback. Becoming the youngest quarterback to start in the Super Bowl and win it, but Rothleisberger played a few more championships after that. They are the crown jewels on his resume, and have consistently complemented those with production levels who have moved their names to the all-time list of statistical categories, so often use players to measure their position. is done.

But this is not a testimonial to recognize the sum of his achievements, but rather an account of what he has done for the Steelers recently. Or more accurately, what he is doing for the Steelers now.

The 2020 season of Roethlisberger is a nostalgia tour of a few months ago, designed to ignite memories once recounting the days of glory as the old days were sent on their way, but instead this one Storybook is a new chapter in career.

Even though the surgery on his right elbow and a lot of rehabilitation took place a calendar year before the procedure that became part of him, and the Steelers’, 2020 story. Comeback has been a runaway success based on nothing more complicated than the Steelers setting a franchise record for consecutive wins to open a season with eight and then tie that record with a ninth, which Henin Field Came courtesy of Bengals.

Through the first eight, Rothleisberger had completed for 1,934 yards with 68.1 percent, 18 touchdowns, four interceptions and a rating of 101.8. A very good number, certainly, but if you take those and project them into a 16-game season, they have better years, years in which they put in more effort and accomplished more and more. Passed for the yard. But he never made such a positive impact on his team.

It may have started with a second half against the Rens in Baltimore on November 1, or it may have been when it went public, but since Sunday they have seen their games and Steelers contributions reach unprecedented levels gave. Sometimes in these situations a quarterback can be referred to as a maestro, but not only does Roethlisberger conduct the orchestra he is actively contributing with his smart and his right hand.

The scope of Rothlisberger’s control has been known only to those since at least half of the Ravens game, but it’s unclear if he’s doing more than simply executing. Color somewhat outside the lines, to be sure, but doing it in a way that does not detract from the picture.

Against the Ravens in the first half on 1 November, the Steelers offense seemed ineffective, unable to carry their weight and contribute to a win. The same thing during large stretches of the game next Sunday against the Cowboys in Dallas. Then much pretense was left against the Bengals and Rothlisberger was first given control and held control for a long time. In fact, he was running things until he was relieved by Mason Rudolph after the result in the bag.

The way it appears today, controlling Rothlisberger is the only way the Steelers offense is productive. Football is not running, not effectively anyway, and not even against the Cowboys and Bengals, whose defenses barely had token resistance against runs all season. On plays that were actually trying to hand the ball to a running back and block for him, the Steelers managed 48 yards in 16 attempts, and accounted for 24 of two of those attempts.

Everyone else was Rothlisberger. Third-down conversion, red zone success, all four touchdowns. He was repeatedly accused of making plays, and most of the time given by him. He was more accurate with deep balls than he was. He used to throw with less time. Gave the football to its receiver and generally kept it away from the Bengals’ defenders. And all of this was done primarily from a personnel group composed of four broad receivers and Eric Ebron, and on those occasions when it involved James Connor, he was primarily on the field to serve as Rothleysberger’s bodyguard Were.

“You know, I think they are a group of skilled football players,” said Rothlisberger of the personnel group. “They make plays. It’s not always pretty. I don’t always give them good passes, but we rotate people enough, and they understand concepts and passages and understand what I ask for. Have been and what coach Randy (Fichton) is asking for, and they make plays. But when we’re in those sets, a lot of times, a lot falls on the line, because there’s not a lot of (in friends) protection. You don’t have tight ends blocked. There’s no back to help you. So, these are five people who are running for anyone. You know, we’re getting good numbers when we’re in those personnel groups, But really it starts with the people who are giving me. It’s time for the bowlers to get the ball and let them do their plays. ”

That came after a week in which Roethlisberger was selected for close contact with a player who tested positive for COVID-19, which meant he was only tested and treated inside the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex Permission was granted. No on-field work was allowed, no on-field work was seen live, no face-to-face communication with coaches or teammates.

And it is on his resume that coach Mike Tomlin publicly stated on more than one occasion that his decision to start Rothleysberger was a brainless one, and showed him more than lip service when the Steelers turned down the offense Gone.

“As I said earlier in the week, there was less concern in terms of working with Ben under these circumstances. Perhaps in some circumstances he and I have lived in the past, where his health was a factor in terms of availability,” Tomlin said. said . “His health was not a factor, so we had very little reservations about his ability to perform at the stadium once.”

Once the Steelers landed at the stadium, their defense defended them to capitalize on the quarterback. Joe Barrow is a talented and cute quarterback, but he was less than his typical self against the Steelers. He completed 53 percent, was sacked four times and hit a total of nine times, held the Bengals to under 200 net yards passing, and the offense was 0-for-13 on third downs, 2-for-16 possession. Down on.

Assuming this is true of each half’s starting asset for the result, the Steelers defense forced three penalties and recovered a fumble on the first four possessions of Cincinnati’s first half, and then Cincinnati’s first four possessions. Forced four straight penalties for the second innings.

“Man, we’re really proud of these people today, just because it was a challenging week,” Tomlin said. “It wasn’t a very fluid week for us in the way we deal with COVID. We had many important people who were not allowed to work. We were working away from a meeting. Deadlock, too much for our people There was no risk. So there was a lot of anxiety about feeling good about the prep. It’s good for the kind of face that works with perseverance and perseverance and comes and performs that way. From there. Something has to be made. ”

Okay, so the Steelers are not a one-man team. But this is not the same team without that one man.

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