QB Watch: Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger

September, 11, 2013
9/11/13
11:30
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Steelers' quarterback play.

Roethlisberger
Rewind: Ben Roethlisberger threw for just 191 yards in a 16-9 loss to the Titans and didn’t get the Steelers into the end zone until less than two minutes were left in the fourth quarter. The complexion of the game may have been completely different had wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders hung onto a deep pass on the Steelers’ first play. That near-miss set the tone for the offense, and Roethlisberger later threw an interception when he did not lead Sanders enough on the pass.

Fast-forward: History at least favors Roethlisberger and the Steelers on Monday night. Roethlisberger has beaten the Bengals nine out of 10 times in Cincinnati, and he has never thrown more than one interception in a game at Paul Brown Stadium. The 10th-year veteran will be plenty motivated too, and not just because of how poorly the offense played in the season opener. Roethlisberger threw two killer interceptions last December in a 13-10 loss to the Bengals at Heinz Field. That defeat eliminated the Steelers from playoff contention.

Giddy up: Roethlisberger thrives in the no-huddle offense, and the Steelers could use that more as they try to jump-start a unit that had less than 200 total yards Sunday. One drawback is doing it on the road, especially in a stadium where the fans will be particularly loud given the opponent and the fact that it is a nationally televised night game.

Prediction: Roethlisberger always seems to play well in his native Ohio, but this may be the worst supporting cast he has had with the Steelers. The Bengals’ front seven will suffocate the running game and won’t give Roethlisberger enough time when the Steelers throw the ball. Fantasy owners would be wise to leave Roethlisberger on their bench this week.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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