Ben Roethlisberger is a great QB.
But today was far from a great game.
Talking to reporters after the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Baltimore Ravens 20-17, Roethlisberger pinned the offensive woes on a lack of success on third down.
“It’s hard to get into a rhythm when you’re not converting third downs. It’s a credit to them They did a good job of slowing us down on third down.”
The Steelers’ third down offense was an abysmal 25%, 2-8, while the Ravens were a successful 50%, 9-18.
“Stops on third down. kept us off the field. Took away a lot of big plays. It’s a game of inches.”
Both of his interceptions, as he describes it, were inches away from positive plays.
“The first one, I got AB down the middle. Never throw a ball down the middle short. The second one to AB was a pass we’ve completed thousands of times. I didn’t put it outside…a few more inches outside and it’s not a pick.”
As we noted earlier this afternoon, Roethlisberger is 2-7 all-time when throwing at least two interceptions and zero touchdowns.
Big Ben was clear about who the loss falls on – himself.
“We controlled our own destiny and we blew it today. We can’t do that. I can’t do that.”
Accountability doesn’t take the edge off the loss, but Roethlisberger continued to conduct himself as the leader he has become.
As he points out, the Steelers will need help to get into the playoffs. They must beat the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 and either have the New York Jets lose to the Buffalo Bills or have the Denver Broncos lose out over the next two weeks, as Dave Bryan pointed out on Twitter earlier this afternoon.