Bad Ben is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life, and I kind of hate myself for watching it. The only reason that it’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen is because it had a prequel and a sequel, both of which were worse. And the fact that I actually watched those movies is why I can never forgive myself.
But Bad Ben is not just a horrible movie franchise. It’s also the subject of this film session, examining some of the lowlights from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with respect to his decision-making and accuracy in throwing the football on Sunday.
Let’s start out early in the game. The Steelers were facing a third-down situation on their opening drive, and Roethlisberger had a clean pocket and a clear window to hit Antonio Brown on a slant over the middle off an RPO. Instead, he whiffed. I don’t know if he was adjusting to the game conditions or what, but it was just a straight-up bad throw.
Late in the quarter, with the Steelers inside the red zone, Roethlisberger stood in the pocket until the pressure was literally in his face before rolling out to his right. He saw Brown flash open toward the right sideline, but seemed to forget about Denzel Ward in zone coverage in the flat, who easily undercut the route, but fully capitalized on the opportunity by also intercepting it.
We can skip ahead to the third quarter now. Justin Hunter has gotten a lot of criticism because he only caught one of the five targets that came his way, but the truth is that it was the only one of the five that was catchable. This pass here is pretty indicative of what Hunter had to work with on the day, skying the pass out of bounds on the out route.
The degree of difficulty here is important to note, but nevertheless, Roethlisberger doesn’t give Brown much of a chance on this throw. The cornerback is right in the line of sight, so the pass needs to be elevated here. Not even James Washington going up against preseason cornerbacks was going to get this one.
He continued to be off down the stretch, including the final minute of overtime. Here looking for JuJu Smith-Schuster on a post, the quarterback puts the ball high and behind the receiver, giving him virtually no chance of making a fair play on the ball.
Make no mistake, there were other throws that could have been included in here, and I’m not even talking about the other interceptions. He also made several fantastic throws, such as the touchdown to Brown, and another that the receiver didn’t catch. But it’s safe to say that Roethlisberger is not in midseason form, even if his body is.