Steelers expect Roethlisberger to bounce back
“I had a bad day,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said regarding his play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. “I know everyone here has had a bad day, ” Roethlisberger added.
Roethlisberger did have a bad day but he’s earned the right to have a bad day every once in a while. On Sunday Roethlisberger completed half of his passes (20-40) against the Cincinnati Bengals for 174 yards, one interception and a 51.5 passer rating.
It was his worst game since a week 3 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008.
Roethlisberger claims he didn’t feel great from the first drive of the game.
“Actually, at the beginning of the game I didn’t feel great, my arm didn’t feel good, whatever,” Roethlisberger said. “But the first drive we connected and went down the field. I had a scramble, hit a couple of completions and I kind of thought, good, I shook that funk off, but it never quite came around.”
You would think a two time Super Bowl winning quarterback would get the benefit of the doubt for having a bad game but that hasn’t been the case to some extent.
Since Roethlisberger’s subpar performance on Sunday, I’ve heard some of the media speculating that Roethlisberger is all of a sudden not a good pocket passer as the Bengals kept him contained from scrambling and there’s even a notion going around right now that Roethlisberger can’t produce against winning teams after throwing for under 200 yards against the Bengals and Vikings.
That’s just how Roethlisberger is always going to be portrayed in this town.
Chiefs run defense ranks 27th in the NFL
As for the Steelers offense, they expect to rebound this week at Kansas City. The Steelers had a 71/29 pass-run ratio but that will likely change against the Chiefs.
The Chiefs rank 27th in the NFL in stopping the run and the Steelers running game should resemble the running game we saw against the Denver Broncos in week 9.
Members of the offensive line are among members of the team who would still like to see a stronger emphasis on the running game.
Cover-2 schemes have caused the Steelers problems of late
For the Steelers offense moving forward, they have to make the needed adjustments against cover-2 schemes.
The Minnesota Vikings played a cover-2 against Pittsburgh, limiting the Steelers passing game from producing many big plays. Roethlisberger found one breakdown in the Vikings defense on Mike Wallace’s 40 yard touchdown receptionsbut that was it for Roethisberger & Co.
“Minnesota started it,” wide receiver Hines Ward said about teams playing a cover-2 against Pittsburgh. “They’re a cover 2 team and really don’t give up a lot of big plays.” Others have followed with that kind of defense, Ward added.
The Bengals followed suit as Steelers also struggled to create many big plays against the Bengals cover-2. In fact, Pittsburgh receivers couldn’t create much space on their routes.
*Travis Kirschke suffered a setback on Thursday and did not practice today. As expected Kirschke will not play against Kansas City.
*Troy Polamalu missed his second consecutive practice. Tyrone Carter will make his 5th start of the season.
*Fullback Carey Davis has a chance of returning to the field Sunday after being sidelined last week with a hamstring injury.