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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
QB Watch: Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger

By Scott Brown

A weekly analysis of the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback play.

Roethlisberger
Rewind: Ben Roethlisberger easily played his best game of the season in a 19-6 win over the New York Jets, and not just because he was turnover free. Roethlisberger threw for 264 yards and the game’s only touchdown and finished with a robust 113.7 passer rating. The 10-year veteran completed 12 of his final 13 passes in the first half, and his 55-yard scoring strike in the third quarter gave the Steelers their first double-digit lead of the season. Roethlisberger’s best play may have come on the Steelers’ second possession of the game when he escaped a sack that would have given the Jets an early safety.

Fast Forward: Roethlisberger will see a bunch of familiar faces when the Ravens visit the Steelers on Sunday. Two players he won’t have to go against are future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis, who retired after last season, and safety Ed Reed, who is now with the Texans. Roethlisberger will have to keep his eyes on outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, one of the colorful characters who has helped elevate the Steelers-Ravens rivalry. T-Sizzle is still an elite pass-rusher, and he has a seven sacks through the Ravens’ first six games.

Exclusive company: Roethlisberger is nearing a milestone, and he would love nothing more than to throw his 200th career touchdown pass against the team he has tormented at times. Roethlisberger is just three touchdown passes from joining Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks in Steelers' history to accomplish that feat.

Prediction: Roethlisberger has been good against the Ravens, particularly when the Steelers have been able to protect him. He has beaten the Ravens in five of seven previous games at Heinz Field, and Roethlisberger has averaged 220.4 passing yards in those contests. The Ravens’ pass defense has been middling this season (254.3 yards allowed per game), making this a favorable match-up for Roethlisberger -- provided he gets enough time to throw.