Ben Roethlisberger’s knee injury, which flared up just a few weeks again, has change into a supply of better concern within the Steelers organization, sources stated, additional limiting the quarterback’s mobility at a time when Pittsburgh is throwing the ball at an alarming price.
The Steelers have tried 104 passes within the final two weeks. The outcomes? They barely defeated the Covid-ravaged Ravens after which misplaced to Washington. Sources stated the crew didn’t intend to disband the run sport to that diploma and famous the broad autonomy that Roethlisberger instructions to vary performs on the line of scrimmage as a main issue within the growth. The timing of dropping again a lot is odd, given the discomfort the 38-12 months-previous quarterback has been experiencing in his knee, which has impacted him at observe and in video games.
The crew made a concerted effort to attempt to quell the pattern this week, sources stated, and is hopeful that the return of middle Maurkice Pouncey and beginning working again James Conner will deliver extra stability to the offense. However Roethlisberger’s lengthy and shut relationship with offensive coordinator Randy Fitchner has been the reason for some fear within the franchise, with the quarterback granted vital latitude to change calls on the line of scrimmage as he sees match.
Pittsburgh has tended to go up-tempo with a diffusion formation for lengthy stretches at a time – typically an empty set – with Roethlisberger eliminating the ball rapidly in a brief-and-intermediate move offense. It has change into considerably predictable in response to some groups who’ve confronted them just lately and whereas the getting older quarterback just isn’t getting hit a lot, it’s resulting in a extra methodical method that’s bogging down within the crimson zone. Couple that with a bent for Eric Ebron and Dionte Thompson to drop the ball and the margins can get slim.
Roethlisberger enters a Week 14 assembly with Buffalo having tried 484 passes, most within the NFL, whereas he ranks simply twenty ninth in yards per try, with 27 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Prior to now 4 weeks, the Steelers have tried a staggering 196 passes, 10 greater than every other crew, with Roethlisberger averaging below six yards per try. The Steelers are twenty third within the NFL in dashing makes an attempt this season, and whereas they’re averaging simply 3.72 yards per carry there’s a robust sense within the organization that a greater semblance of stability is so as.
Particularly with Roethlisberger ailing, and dealing with a Bills protection that has no scarcity of expertise, the coaches and entrance workplace are hoping that there might be fewer checks into move performs this week and down the stretch because the Steelers goal for the highest seed within the AFC, and what could be a a lot-coveted lone first-spherical bye for the injury-plagued membership.