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Thread: Ben Roethlisberger remains underrated

  1. #1
    Legend fordfixer's Avatar
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    Ben Roethlisberger remains underrated

    MOVE THE STICKS

    http://m.nfl.com/news/0ap1000000078482/
    Ben Roethlisberger remains underrated; Andrew Luck's clutch

    After watching the Pittsburgh Steelers squeak by the Philadelphia Eagles, 16-14 , on Sunday afternoon, I was reminded of something one league executive told me prior to the start of the season:

    "Ben Roethlisberger is the most underrated player in the NFL."

    At first thought, it seems odd to say a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback is underrated, but I'm starting to buy into this theory.

    Yesterday was a great example of how Big Ben just doesn't get enough credit for his play. His stat line was very ordinary: 21-for-37 for 207 yards and no touchdowns. When you look at those numbers without watching the game, it's hard to appreciate just how well Roethlisberger played.

    Roethlisberger did three things on Sunday that were instrumental in the Steelers ' victory:

    1) Buying time in the pocket. This Steelers offensive line is very average; Roethlisberger bails this unit out repeatedly. In Sunday's game, there were numerous times when Pittsburgh's offensive tackles were beat cleanly off the edge, but Big Ben was able to climb up in the pocket and get the ball out. When he had pressure up the middle, he side-stepped, pulled out of tackles or absorbed a hit while getting the ball out of his hand. The Eagles have a very deep and talented pass rush, but they didn't record a single sack.

    2) Winning on third down. Roethlisberger showed why he's the NFL's best third-down quarterback during Pittsburgh's game-winning drive. He converted two third-down passes despite the Eagles pinning their ears back and attacking him. His ability to maintain poise, find the open man and deliver an accurate ball is uncanny. As a result of those key conversions, the Steelers not only kicked the game-clinching field goal , they also burned the final 6:33 off the game clock.

    3) Protecting the ball. As the Eagles can attest, successful quarterbacking isn't just about the plays you make, it's also about the mistakes you avoid. Michael Vick lost two crucial fumbles for the Eagles , while Roethlisberger didn't record a single turnover. In fact, he has turned the ball over just once this season (a pick in the opening loss to the Denver Broncos ). Decision-making is the most important aspect of quarterback play; all the arm talent in the world isn't worth a thing if you don't know where to throw the football.

    Having worked for two AFC North teams (the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns ), I have a healthy respect for Roethlisberger's talent, but I'm not sure he gets the national attention he deserves. It seems like every time top-tier quarterbacks are discussed, Big Ben is overlooked. Aaron Rodgers , Tom Brady , Drew Brees and the Manning brothers are outstanding, but Roethlisberger absolutely deserves to be in their company.

    Didn't see this coming The NFL enjoys the most parity of any professional sports league. Somehow, despite that truism, I find myself shocked by the result of a game or two each week of the season. This week, I was stunned when the Indianapolis Colts knocked off the Green Bay Packers .

    I was positive this was going to be the week that the Packers rediscovered their 2011 form. First of all, they were taking on an Indianapolis squad dealing with an incredibly difficult situation surrounding the absence of head coach Chuck Pagano . Secondly, while this Colts ' roster has some solid pieces in place, there are numerous weak spots, including a patchwork secondary. I expected Rodgers to light up that group and score 40-plus points.

    Everything was going about how I'd anticipated it would as the game went to halftime. The Packers were up, 21-3, and seemed headed for an easy win. But the Colts made some key adjustments at the break and outscored the Packers , 27-6, in the second half. Andrew Luck will deservedly get a ton of credit for this win, but the Colts ' pass rush was crucial as well. Indy harassed Rodgers (five sacks) and kept the Packers ' offensive machine from finding a rhythm in the final 30 minutes.

    Impressive in defeat Despite falling short on the scoreboard, there were reasons for the following two teams to be encouraged in defeat:

    Kansas City Chiefs : I can't defend quarterback Matt Cassel 's performance in Sunday's 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens , but there were positive signs on both sides of the ball for Kansas City. Defensively, the Chiefs held the Ravens ' second-ranked offense to three field goals. Kansas City's starting outside linebackers, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston , got consistent pressure on Joe Flacco and recorded two sacks apiece. Offensively, the ground game was excellent, racking up 214 yards against a normally stingy Baltimore run defense.

    Denver Broncos : Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots dropped Denver's record to 2-3, but I'm still optimistic about this team, because of the play of Peyton Manning . He threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns -- and could've done even more damage if not for two fourth-quarter gaffes by Willis McGahee . If you take out the first-quarter stats from the Broncos' loss to the Atlanta Falcons , Manning has thrown 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He will continue to get more comfortable in this offense as the season progresses, and the schedule will lighten up, as well.

    Three startling statistics 1) The Eagles have scored more than 20 points just once this season. There is no denying the fact that Philadelphia's defense is greatly improved this season, but the offense has been extremely underwhelming. Yardage totals are nice, but points win football games. Last season, the Eagles were held under 20 points just four times. They've already matched that total five games into the 2012 campaign.

    2) In the last two games, the Washington Redskins have converted on only three of 20 third downs. The health of Robert Griffin III is the top priority for the Redskins following the loss to the Atlanta Falcons , but this is one area of play that this team desperately needs to improve on. Washington has been dreadful on third down of late. For the offense to fix this, pass protection must get better and RG3 needs one of his weapons to emerge as a go-to target.

    3) Andrew Luck has thrown the ball 45 or more times in three of his four NFL games. The Indianapolis Colts are not babysitting their rookie quarterback. The training wheels are off and Luck is being asked to win games with his arm. If not for a late-game defensive meltdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars , Luck would already have three come-from-behind wins under his belt.

    New York Giants' O-line rounding into form Just like long-snappers and officials, offensive linemen tend to get noticed only when things go wrong. Well, let's change that up and give some love to the New York Giants ' big boys up front. They paved the way for Ahmad Bradshaw to pile up 200 yards on the ground against the Cleveland Browns while holding their opponent without a sack for the second straight week. After a rocky start against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, this group has been outstanding. The rebirth of Big Blue's run game has made the play-action passing attack very difficult to defend. The Giants are tied for first place in the NFC East, and much of the credit belongs to the O-line.

    Better with age I love tracking the progress of young players in the NFL, but Week 5 was a great reminder that there are plenty of "old heads" still playing at a very high level. Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (37 years old) proved that his instincts are as sharp as ever, racking up an impressive 20 tackles in a narrow loss to Atlanta. Meanwhile, Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (36) continues to make plays every week. All he did against the Redskins was haul in 13 balls for 123 yards and a touchdown. He wasn't the only veteran pass catcher to have a big day, either: Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (33) also caught 13 balls for a ridiculous 212 yards and a touchdown.

    Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks

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  2. #2
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    I agree. Ben is underrated. GO BIG BEN!!!!!!

  3. #3
    1) Best 3rd down QB in the league. AWESOME!!
    2) No turnovers this game, and only one all year. AWESOME!!
    3) Not a single sack against a darn good defensive line and LB corps. AWESOME!!

    Ben Roethlisberger - AWESOME!!

    AND - I think Haley is going to turn out to be the best thing since sliced bread for Ben ... "Oh wow, we can get more first downs if I look for the dump off guy instead of just chucking it downfield ... hmm, I kind of like that!". With Heath in the backfield and within 7 yards of the line, AB and Saunders 10-15 yards downfield, and #17 taking the top off ... and with Mendenhall healthy ... we just need the most mediocre of an OL and we can score enough points to win the SB this year.

    Woo-Hooo!!!


    We got our "6-PACK" - time to work on a CASE!

    HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!

  4. #4
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    I agree. AWESOME post

  5. #5
    The Packers were up, 21-3, and seemed headed for an easy win. But the Colts made some key adjustments at the break and outscored the Packers , 27-6, in the second half.

    How the heck did that Arians guy find time to check the Steelers message boards on how to handle that situation.?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Keyplay1 View Post
    The Packers were up, 21-3, and seemed headed for an easy win. But the Colts made some key adjustments at the break and outscored the Packers , 27-6, in the second half.

    How the heck did that Arians guy find time to check the Steelers message boards on how to handle that situation.?
    The more important adjustments were made by Greg Manusky, the Colts' D coordinator...

    5 sacks on elite Qb Rodgers?

    Also, losing BJ Raji, Cedric Benson and Jermichael Finley did not help them...

  7. #7
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    It will always be this way with Ben because of his style of play; he never gets credit for reading a defense because the majority of his big plays occur when things break down, he never gets credit for hitting receivers on time and accurately, because many times he's throwing on the run and he doesn't get any credit for pre-snap reads and play changes, because his most dynamic plays are outside the pocket. Quarterbacks like Brady, Manning (both), Ryan make almost all of their splash plays in the pocket which is how everyone perceives that the quarterback position should be played. If you deviate from that and are successful and Ben is really the only quarterback with success that plays with his style of play, Rodgers kind of does, but for the most part his plays are made in the pocket.

    Bottom line is that Ben is different and never will be a prototypical quarterback; if that's what you're looking for you aren't seeing it until Ben retires and his successor takes over at the earliest. Ben is playing differently this year, only in the fact that he's taking what the defense gives him for the most part. He's still made a lot of plays outside the pocket. I love it, because it always makes for an exciting game, you don't know if you'll get the train wreck or the greatness, fortunately, for Steeler fans we usually get greatness from Ben. He didn't get the game winner over Oakland and I was disappointed that the Steelers lost, but I'll take Ben, the ball and being behind by a score or less over having the the lead and the defense on the field any day of the week.

    I was glad to see Ben milk the entire 6:33 off the clock and give the Steelers a chance to win rahter than leave time for the Eagle offense to get back on the field, even though the defense had played well on Sunday.

    Pappy


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  8. #8
    Underrated? Not by me. I have him as #2 all time NFL and challenging furiously for #1.

    Now I don't want to seem black and gold biased here, but you must know who #1 is already too. But it is getting close.

  9. #9
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keyplay1 View Post
    you must know who #1 is already too.
    I'm gonna guess Brady Quinn.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    I'm gonna guess Brady Quinn.
    Zorro!







    We got our "6-PACK" - time to work on a CASE!

    HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!

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