Is the Big Ben era in Pittsburgh finally over? Has Ben Roethlisberger run out of steam after 17 seasons in the NFL? Is his decorated career coming to an end?
Roethlisberger’s most recent performance against the Cincinnati Bengals left a lot to be desired for the Steelers, and consequently, it has the entire NFL world asking these questions.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been a dominant team in the AFC North for a very long time. Is that because the other teams in that division have been pretty bad up until now, or is that because the Steelers have usually been a good team? I think it’s both.
In their regular season opener, the Steelers defeated the Buffalo Bills 23-16 in an impressive performance. This Week 1 win really encouraged the Steelers, as they started off their season strong against a solid opponent. Everything went downhill from there though, as they suffered back-to-back home losses in Weeks 2 and 3.
In Week 2, they lost to the Las Vegas Raiders 26-17, and yesterday they played horribly against the Cincinnati Bengals, resulting in a 24-10 loss. Roethlisberger threw for 318 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a completion rate of 65.5%. He also got sacked four times.
Anyone who watched that game will agree that Roethlisberger looked slow, stiff, and borderline lethargic. It should be noted that the 39-year-old was also playing after a Week 2 pectoral injury, and when he was asked about it after the Cincinnati game, he said simply, “Everything hurts.”
It hasn’t exactly been a great start to the season for Roethlisberger and the Steelers. There is no denying that he is no longer the quarterback who led Pittsburgh to win two Super Bowls in 2006 and 2009. This shouldn’t really be shocking, as he is almost 40 years old and has been playing in the NFL for nearly 20 years.
I know that it’s hard when a franchise quarterback seems to hit a wall, but I think the time has come for the Pittsburgh Steelers to say goodbye to Big Ben. He has led a long, mainly successful career in Pittsburgh, and his legacy is secured. It seems like he has done everything he can to help the Steelers succeed, and now he’s slowing them down.
That being said, I would be extremely shocked if they decided to bench him in the middle of this season, as Roethlisberger is still the best quarterback they have on their roster. What will most likely happen is they will keep Roethlisberger in the starting position for the remainder of this season, and during the offseason, they will reevaluate their quarterback situation and either bench him, or he may make his own decision to retire.
Is the Big Ben era in Pittsburgh finally over?
Regardless of how/when Ben Roethlisberger officially retires, it will certainly be strange when he does. He has been a member of the elite NFL quarterbacks for a very long time, with his name mentioned among those like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees.
Will it be difficult for Steelers fans to say goodbye? Certainly. But will it be the best decision for the Steelers?
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