Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was seriously considering retirement this offseason, and based on the way he's played this year, he'll surely think long and hard about it again this offseason.
That's because Big Ben has dealt with some uncharacteristic struggles this season, even as the Steelers have taken a three-game lead in the AFC North with a 7-2 record.
Roethlisberger has thrown for 2,298 yards, but only has 12 touchdown passes to go with 10 interceptions (tied for the third-most interceptions in the NFL).
However, Roethlisberger recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that, while he's not particularly happy with his play - especially in Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts - the Steelers are winning, and that's what matters most at the end of the day:
“I couldn’t tell you what I did,” Roethlisberger said. “I know I threw an interception. I know I threw for two touchdowns. That’s it. But I know we won the game. Honestly, isn’t that all that matters? Whether it’s pretty or ugly, don’t championship teams find a way to win the game no matter what? We’ve talked in the past that we haven’t found a way to win those games against teams that, on paper, we’re supposed to beat. Well, we won this one.”
Indeed, the Steelers are tied with the New England Patriots for the best record in the AFC and seem to be a lock to make the playoffs, as the second-place team in the AFC North - the Baltimore Ravens - are an abysmal 4-5.
The Steelers won't be able to compete for a title with the way Big Ben is playing now, but Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said he's not planning to make a change and will let his quarterback figure things out on his own as they move forward. Offensive lineman Ramon Foster said the team is more than happy to keep going with Roethlisberger at quarterback:
“No matter what the outside noise says, I’m going to roll with him," he said. "You know you’ve always got a shot because of him.”
Big Ben has yet to throw three touchdowns in a game, something he did seven times last season. However, he's right about winning being the most important thing, and the Steelers are doing just fine in that department.
Heading into Thursday night's game at home against the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans, Roethlisberger will have another chance to shake off the rust. Against a solid team like the Titans, Big Ben's play will be a huge key to the game.
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