Yesterday, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers posted a video of the veteran quarterback throwing to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and Ryan Switzer. He's baaaaaaaaack.
Much has been written and said about what could lie ahead for Ben Roethlisberger in 2020.
Kevin Colbert seems to think that Ben could come back better than ever. Many in the national media think that the Steelers would be better off without Roethlisberger.
Here’s the thing: Roethlisberger doesn’t need to carry the Steelers next year.
In fact, this team reminds me of a recent former Super Bowl championship team…The 2015 Denver Broncos.
Peyton Manning was 39 years old. He had the worst statistical season of his career, throwing nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Yet, the team went 7-2 in his regular season starts and undefeated in the post-season.
Manning knew when to check into run plays, and be efficient on third downs. He didn’t need to be perfect, or even close to it, because he had the best defense in football.
The Broncos were led by all-world pass rusher Von Miller. They were 1st against the pass, 8th in the league in forcing turnovers, and 1st in yards per attempt against on the ground.
Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t have to be great next year, because the Steelers defense is going to be awfully similar to the one I just described.
In 2019, the Steelers defense was led by an all-world pass rusher in T.J. Watt. They were 3rd against the pass, 1st in takeaways, and 3rd in yards allowed per carry on the ground.
With Peyton Manning stinking it up statistically, the Broncos were still able to win the ship. They scored just over 22 points per game, and allowed 18.5.
The 2019 Steelers gave up 18.9 points per game. In February, Kevin Colbert mentioned that the Steelers are 121-20 all-time when Ben starts at QB and the defense gives up 21 or fewer points.
That’s the recipe. It’s been done before, it can happen again. The Steelers defense is good enough to dominate. Ben should be able to get them to roughly 22 points per game on offense. I think that he will be even better statistically than Manning was in 2015.
An old decrepit QB winning a Super Bowl on the coattails of an excellent defense is possible. It was done just five years ago.
Ben doesn't have to be Superman.