Ben Roethlisberger has only been a part of a 1-3 team just twice in his career, at least before this season. The first time was in 2006, the disastrous year after they won their first Super Bowl with the young quarterback. The second time was in 2013.
And now, there’s this. It’s an obviously frustrating situation, especially given the way that they were able to beat the Buffalo Bills on the road in the first game of the season, before dropping three straight. But he’s been through this before and has plenty of experience to temper his frustrations and gain perspective.
“I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve had some really good games, some really bad games. Some good years, some bad years”, he said after the game. “I still love to play this game. I love what it is. Even when losing the game stinks, there’s still something to it. There’s something to the comeback story. There’s something to the rebound. There’s something to looking in a guy’s eyes and telling him I appreciate his effort today”.
There was plenty of ‘good job, good effort’ to go around, but no W, which is what the Steelers said they were coming into this week focusing on. In fact, they’ve lost each of the past three games by more than one possession. Things haven’t even been all that close. Guys are making plays, but they’re not playing as a whole.
“It’s just one of those things, when we lay our head down at night, can we say we’re proud of our performance?”, Roethlisberger said “If not, how do we make adjustments and changes and make it so that the next time we come out, we are proud of our performance?”.
Roethlisberger, as he typically does following a loss, was quick to shoulder quite a bit of the blame, but it ultimately doesn’t mean anything if you can’t win the next week. Just a month into the season, they’re already two games behind literally everybody else in the AFC North.
That’s only happened once before, when they started the 2013 season 0-4. Everybody else in the division was 2-2 through the first four weeks of the season. This year, everybody else is 3-1, and they are 1-3.
How are the rookies taking it? After all, there are six of them in the starting lineup. There was one point midway through the fourth quarter in which it looked like running back Najee Harris was quite emotional, getting a pep talk from tight end Eric Ebron while both crouched squatted near the sideline.
This would be a good time for the team leadership to step up and make sure that everybody is handling this tribulation as best they can, and as productively as they can, because they could very easily go in the tank if they’re not in the right headspace.