Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger shows age in loss to Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger shows age in loss to Cincinnati Bengals

Time might be running out on the Pittsburgh Steelers and their 39-year-old quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

Sunday’s 24-10 loss at home against the Cincinnati Bengals only served to further sour a season that started 1-0 and has since become 1-2.

Roethlisberger threw the ball a whopping 58 times, connecting on 65.5% of his passes for 318 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a passer rating of 70.9.

His 5.5 yards per attempt were the lowest of the season, and his interceptions were particularly heartbreaking. The first pick came in the first quarter, right after Pittsburgh’s defense had intercepted Bengals QB Joe Burrow.

The Bengals took that gift and scored their first touchdown of the game.

Big Ben’s second interception, which came in the third quarter with the Steelers down 17-7, had an identical outcome. Given a short field, the Bengals went three plays for 19 yards to extend their lead to 24-7.

Aside from a field goal early in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh couldn’t close the gap in any meaningful way.

The Bengals had back-to-back-to-back series of going three and out, but the Steelers twice turned the ball over on downs on their final two possessions of the game. Giving up four sacks on the day certainly didn’t help matters, either.

Considering how the 2020 season ended for the Steelers, there is some definite cause for concern, especially in the QB department.

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Despite a 12-4 record, the Steelers dropped four of their final five regular-season games a year ago, squandering a shot at a bye week in the postseason. Roethlisberger was the quarterback of record for three of those losses, sitting out the season finale with their playoff-seeding fate sealed.

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In their wild-card matchup against the sixth-seeded Cleveland Browns, Big Ben & Co. flamed out in a sloppy 48-37 defeat.

When the two losses from this season are combined with the three losses to close out the 2020 regular season, Roethlisberger’s numbers are pretty grim.

In those five starts, he has a 61.5% completion percentage for an average of 255.0 passing yards per game, seven touchdowns, seven interceptions. and an average passer rating of 74.3.

It’s not all Big Ben’s fault, of course. The Steelers committed 10 penalties for 73 yards against Cincinnati, and Injuries haven’t helped matters in Pittsburgh this season as a whole.

But as the most prominent figure at the most critical position, Big Ben’s performances come with added scrutiny.

In his postgame press conference, the QB acknowledged as much when asked how he and his team turn things around.

“It’s gotta start with me,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m not going to point the fingers at anybody else. I’ll point the thumb at myself and try to get it figured out. I’m a little stumped by it. I’m a little frustrated. I’m hurt. I hate losing. I’m never gonna quit and give up. … I just hope at some point it clicks for us.”

Coming into the game dealing with a pectoral injury, Big Ben also addressed the ailment after the game.

“Everything hurts,” he said with a sigh when asked about the pec injury.

Pain ⁠— of both the emotional and physical variety ⁠— is seemingly in ample supply in the Steel City.

The same likely can’t be said about patience when it comes to Big Ben and the Steelers.

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