Browns, Bengals fall behind Ravens in AFC North while Steelers win
Steelers, Ben not quite dead yet
Over in Pittsburgh, the Steelers beat a few dead horses of their own in the Denver Broncos, a team that many people were talking up as a playoff contender. The rebuilt kiddie corps offensive line may be coming together, as they finally blocked for Najee Harris, who gained 122 yards on 23 carries, or 5.30 yards per carry.
Consequently, Big Ben Roethlisberger was able to use his quick release to complete 15 passes in 25 attempts for 253 yards. Those are very Steeleresque numbers. They probably cannot win if they have to ask Big Ben to shoulder the whole load and put it up 40 or 50 times a game. However, 25 pass attempts are very reasonable for a senior citizen.
The Steelers want Roethlisberger to take the snap and hit the first open receiver in under three seconds, before something bad happens to their offensive line. He can do that as well as anyone in the NFL. Don’t look for him to roll out like Baker Mayfield, so the Pittsburgh offensive line is going to have to protect him for three seconds.
It bears mention that the Steelers line is starting two rookies and none of them have started regularly together before. So of course they were going to be awful to start the season. The question is whether they will continue to be awful for the entire 17-game season. Maybe not, based on Sunday’s performance.
They can be competitive with a C-minus offensive line because of Roethlisberger’s quick release and the explosiveness of tailback Najee Harris. They just need to avoid total disaster on the offensive line and they can be competitive.
The Bengals went toe-to-toe with the Green Bay Packers in Cincinnati. However, they lost because of malfunctioning toes at the end.