Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has himself focused on one thing this week, first and foremost: himself. It’s the one factor that he can control in trying to help the team get better and improve upon a very ugly performance in the season opener that saw his offense score just three points, while the defense gave up 33 to the New England Patriots.
“We weren’t good enough, and we’ve got to get better”, he told reporters in the locker room yesterday during his media availability, via a video on the team’s website. “I’m only going to focus on the quarterback play, because that’s what I control, so the quarterback’s got to get better”.
In that first game of the season on Sunday, Roethlisberger completed only 27 of 47 pass attempts, though several of them were dropped, throwing for 276 yards with one interception, and obviously, given that they only scored three points in the entire game, he was held without a touchdown. He had thrown at least one touchdown pass in 26 consecutive games leading up, which was the longest active streak in the NFL.
Much of that yardage also came in the fourth quarter while the game was already at hand. I believe something like 65 yards were gained through the air on the final drive alone, on which they didn’t even manage to score, with the Patriots just looking to close the game out.
“Quite a few things” went wrong to contribute to the overall struggles in their performance on Sunday, Roethlisberger told the reporters. “We didn’t execute well enough. I didn’t make enough plays, enough throws, and they outscored us”.
“That starts with me, and I’m going to do my best to get ready to go this week”, he added.
Later, in answering a question about Donte Moncrief, who was guilty of several negative receiving plays, he was asked if he is inclined to go back to a player who had struggled the week before to get him back into the rhythm, but Roethlisberger said that that is not how he approaches it.
“We all kind of have a clean slate every week, and that’s me included”, he said, adding that he approaches the next game as though the previous game never happened, in so many words. “I threw an interception, I wasn’t the most accurate passer”, he noted for himself, as he looks to clean his slate and start anew at Heinze Field in the home opener against the Seattle Seahawks.