By Tim Rice
This Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should be primed and ready to finish where he last left off in the Georgia Dome several years ago. While Steelers fans and analyst have indicted this Mike Tomlin lead team for not being the old Steelers team of yesteryear, the 2006 and 2014 Steelers aren’t as different as many think, offensively speaking.
The now Mike Tomlin lead Steelers will enter the Georgia Dome on Sunday with mostly different names on their jerseys then the 2006 Steelers, but with very similar type game changing players. With only two players on the offense from that team being Roethlisberger and tight end Heath Miller, the Steelers have reloaded with the likes of Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Markus Wheaton and rookie Martavius Bryant to replace the their predecessors Hines Ward, Willie Parker, Nate Washington and then-rookie Santonio Holmes respectively.
Although you can argue the differences in these players, you can indeed see the same similar style and impact that these players can make in this game on Sunday.
2006 was the last time the Steelers played in the Georgia Dome versus the Falcons. Roethlisberger was playing a near perfect game before leaving injured as he was 16-of-22 passing for 238 yards with three touchdowns, zero interceptions and one fumble lost.
With 7:45 left in the third quarter, Roethlisberger, after releasing the ball, was apparently hit helmet to helmet directly in the face mask by Chauncey Davis which left him motionless for several minutes before being able to sit up and walk off the field.
Roethlisberger was then replaced by backup Charlie Batch, who finished the game 8-of-13 for 195 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers would end the game with 473 total yards and five touchdowns but turnovers and miscues would eventually do them in and they went on to lose 41-38 in overtime.
Ward had eight receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns in that game which resembles the kind of productions that we should see from Brown this Sunday. Holmes recorded five receptions for 91 yards with a long ball of 36 yards, which should resemble the production we hope to receive from Bryant. Now, with the addition of Bell to replace and exceed the production of Parker in this game (20 rushes for only 47 yards and 0 TDs) this Tomlin lead Steelers team should now have the correct formula offensively to finish this game with another record setting performance, but more importantly a win.