Don’t look now, but Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is starting to play some of his best football of the season.
In Week 13 against the Baltimore Ravens, Roethlisberger turned the clock back in the fourth quarter, putting up one of the best fourth quarters in NFL history, leading the Steelers to a comeback win with two touchdown passes to Diontae Johnson. Then, just four days later on the road against the Minnesota Vikings, Roethlisberger again had a terrific second half, nearly leading the Steelers to a historic comeback win on the road against Minnesota.
With his strong performances as of late, Roethlisberger is starting to garner some respect nationally once again, specifically from NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal, who moved Roethlisberger up four slots in his weekly QB Index, placing him at No. 25 overall.
“That was possibly Roethlisberger’s best game of the year, with Steelers receivers dropping two of his better passes,” Rosenthal writes. “He did it by being more aggressive throwing downfield and taking more control of the offense. By speeding up the tempo, playing out of empty formations and running less, Roethlisberger did a nice job picking out mismatches. If that was his last win against the Ravens, he did it in vintage style with 17 fourth-quarter points.”
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense had some serious success pushing the football down the field, specifically in the middle of the field, all while playing up-tempo against the Ravens and then the Vikings just four days later.
The veteran signal caller is certainly starting to play some of his best football of the season, but it comes at a time in which the offensive line has regressed drastically, and the defense can’t stop anyone on the ground, which just feels like par for the course with this franchise in recent years.
We’ll see if Roethlisberger can maintain his level of play on Sunday at home against a Tennessee Titans’ defense that has struggled to stop anyone named the Jacksonville Jaguars in recent weeks. The Steelers’ offense has played much better when in up-tempo, which has allowed Roethlisberger to cook through the air.
Will that be the plan of attack moving forward as the Steelers try and make a run to the playoffs?