Should we be concerned about Big Ben and the Steelers?
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Tom Brady spoiled us all by crashing into the ground. For the vast majority of quarterbacks is still abrupt and sharp. Ben Roethlisberger looks like he was in full Thelma, Louise and jumped off the edge of a cliff. Steven Ruiz, the Ringer's director of video productions took Ben's throws and threws against the Bengals on Sunday, and then re-enacted them in grainy, western-style videos with saloon music in the background. This was not only the most fun thing I've ever seen on Monday but it was the most sad, as Ben is completely shaved.
The Steelers have not invested significant resources in the offensive line in the offseason, and it has resulted in the absence of a run game despite drafting Najee Harris in the very first round. Harris was drafted in the first round and had 19 catch. targets in the passing game on Sunday, and he caught 14 passes. Lindsay Rhodes invited me to her show on Monday. She shared this amazing story: Harris had 109 yards following the catch and receiving yards of 102. You should think about that!
Look at Ben's Next Gen Stats passing chart and it confirms the scenario. There's no protection for him or arm strength to easily take the ball off the field anymore and that combination basically turned this offense horizontal.
The Steelers were set to hang their hat on defense, however, the secondary was not as good coming out of the gate and the defensive linewhich is the strong point of this team has been hampered, with multiple starters missing. T.J. Watt was the most well-known player who was excluded from Sunday's game due to a groin strain. The moment he was out two weeks ago, the Steelers defense cratered and it caused problems for Joe Burrow on Sunday as well. It's extremely difficult to envision the path to follow where these issues are magically fixed.
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