By: Frank Hyden
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their third game in a row last night, 27-17 to the Cincinnati Bengals. That’s right, they lost to a team that only had 2 wins heading into the game. They lost to a team playing their 3rd string quarterback. The Steelers only had 244 yards of offense. It gets worse. The Bengals only had 230 yards of offense themselves. The Steelers drop to 11-3 and the Bengals are now 3-10-1.
I tweeted during the game that Ben Roethlisberger should pull a Vontae Davis and retire at halftime because of how poorly he was playing. Now, to be fair, he had a couple good throws in the second half but he had some more horrible misses as well. He looks done. I don’t think there’s a starting QB in this league I wouldn’t take before Big Ben. The only possible one I wouldn’t take is Cam Newton, and I’d be tempted to take him because at least he can still kind of run. Ben never could run but at least he could throw it deep, or accurate. Now, it looks like he can’t even do that. Hell, Tom Brady is 5 years older than Ben and it looks like he has more left in the tank.
Seriously, let’s run through the list of starters in the league and see if you’d take Ben over any of them.
AFC EAST- Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, Sam Darnold, Cam Newton. Again, maybe over Cam?
AFC NORTH- Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow. This one’s a huge NO.
AFC SOUTH- Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers, throw in Jacoby Brissett as well, Deshaun Watson, Gardner Minshew. I think I’d take Minshew over Ben. It’s close but he’s cheap and replaceable.
AFC WEST- Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Justin Herbert, Tyrod Taylor, Drew Lock. It would be close with Lock but I think you could coach him up well.
NFC EAST- Dak Prescott, Alex Smith, Daniel Jones, Jalen Hurts. Hell, I’d probably take Carson Wentz over Ben at this point, at least Carson can run.
NFC NORTH- Aaron Rodgers, I’d give Jordan Love a shot as well, Kirk Cousins, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, Matthew Stafford.
NFC SOUTH- Drew Brees, Taysom Hill, Jameis Winston, Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Ryan
NFC WEST- Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Jared Goff is a maybe, as is Jimmy Garoppollo and Nick Mullens.
Some of this might be an overreaction but there’s no question Ben has looked horrible more than he’s looked good. His stats are good but look at who he’s throwing to? His receiving corps is really good. To me, the worst part of Ben’s game is how he’s missing throws. Chase Claypool will be wide open and he’ll throw a checkdown.
The Steelers play the Colts next week, then the Browns to close the season. The Colts are going to be a tough game, I can definitely see the Steelers lose that one. They absolutely should lose, given the way both teams are playing. The Colts should beat the piss out of the Steelers and win by 10+ points. I actually think the game will be closer but I still think the Colts win by 3+ points. The Browns play the Jets, a team they should beat the hell out of. It’s one thing to try to get that first win of the season but that’s over now so what do the Jets have to play for? So Pittsburgh loses and Cleveland wins, setting up a showdown for the AFC North crown. The Steelers could lose that and have to go on the road in the playoffs. Even if they hang on and get to host a game in the playoffs, I think they get their shit kicked in. Right now, they would play the Colts, who are playing much better. But say they have to play the Dolphins, Browns, Titans, or Ravens. Would you be comfortable picking the Steelers to beat any of those teams? I highly doubt it.
Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank