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2020 South Side Questions: Will Washington’s Pass Rush Get To Big Ben?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.

Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.

As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion

Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Will the Washington pass rush get to Ben Roethlisberger?

According to reports, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a ‘stiff knee’ heading into today’s game. Pittsburgh is also working off of short rest, having just played five days ago, while Washington has now had eight days since its last game.

Add on top of that the fact that (evidently) center Maurkice Pouncey will still not be participating in today’s game after being placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 List before the team’s last game. So you have a short week, an incomplete offensive line—with first-year former college free agent J.C. Hassenauer making his second start—and a quarterback favoring a knee going up against one of the most prolific pass rushes in the NFL right now.

If you add up all the ingredients, it sounds like the Football Team’s best short at finally putting a 1 in the Steelers’ loss column is to get to Roethlisberger before he gets the ball out. Considering he’s been doing that quicker than anyone in the NFL, that’s easier said than done, granted, but he may be more stationary today than normal.

If Washington can put pressure on Roethlisberger and force him into making some mistakes, they can neutralize the offense enough to at least make this a low-scoring game and give themselves a shot at upsetting the Steelers. They would stay in first place since they would still have a better conference record than the Kansas City Chiefs, by the way.

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