One theme that was common in the early portions of Ben Roethlisberger’s career is the fact that he had consistently good defenses. In fact, it was the clear strength of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster for the first half or so of the franchise quarterback’s career, but the tide began to turn after the 2010 season, and more and more of the responsibility of the team’s success and failure began to fall on his shoulders.
The offense did have a great run for a while there, but it didn’t result in enough playoff victories. Now, in 2020, he is playing with the best defense that he has had the opportunity to work with in at least a decade, and he is not taking that likely, which he talked about earlier this week.
“It gives you a lot of freedom”, he said of playing with a stout defense, via a transcript provided by the team’s media department. “You know that your mistakes aren’t going to be as magnified because you are most likely going to stop them or get the ball back”.
He even acknowledged that it’s something like old times. “It’s a lot like how when I first came into the league”, he said. “You could just play more free because you know what your defense is going to give you. We turned the ball over early in that game, and we weren’t doing anything in the first half offensively. Yet, our defense was able to hold a really good offense and keep the game close, and they created turnovers for us”.
When we got that turnover in the second half, the interception, we knew at that moment we need to do something offensively. We have to turn this thing around because they carried us to that point, but that’s what makes teams special is that we were able to in the second half to turn it on offensively. We carry each other, special teams as well. That’s what makes teams special when you can count on each other through the good and the bad and just rely and trust each other because it’s not always going to be perfect both sides of the ball. Going into every week, as an offense and I know as a quarterback, we enjoy knowing what we have over there.
Heading into Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Steelers rank fifth in points scored at 30.1 points allowed per game, and sixth in points allowed, averaging 20.3 points per game. Their 69 total net points on the year ranks fourth in the league, behind the Kansas City Chiefs at 101 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 82, with the Baltimore Ravens at 71, just ahead of their division rivals.