Ben Roethlisberger is BACK! Well, according to JuJu Smith-Schuster, he is.
Roethlisberger is 38 years old. By my count, there have been seven instances of QB's winning the Super Bowl at age 36 or older.
Johnny Unitas won at 37 years old in the 1970 season. The Colts defense was seventh in the league in points against and ninth in yards allowed.
Jim Plunkett won at 36 years old in the 1983 season. The LA Raiders were fourth in yards allowed on defense. They were 10th in the league at running the ball on offense.
Run the ball and play defense, huh? Hmmm.
John Elway won at 37 and 38 years old in 1997 and 1998.
In 1997, the Broncos rushed for about 2,400 yards. The defense was fifth in the league. In 1998, Terrell Davis rushed for 2,008 yards. The team rushed for nearly 2,500. The defense was eighth in points against.
Peyton Manning won at age 39 in 2015. The Broncos "No-fly Zone" defense was first in yards against and fourth in points against.
Tom Brady won at 39 years old in the 2016 season. The Pats were third in rushing attempts, seventh in rushing yards, and first in points allowed on defense.
Brady won at 41 years old in the 2018 season. On offense, they were third in rushing attempts, fifth in yards, and not surprisingly, they had the seventh best defense in terms of points allowed.
So, of the QB’s to win the Super Bowl at 36 years old or older, they each had elite defenses and/or great running games.
That’s the recipe.
Ben Roethlisberger led the league in passing attempts per game in his last two healthy seasons. The Steelers threw the ball 68 percent of the time in 2018. That’s not the same recipe that any of those other teams followed.
The Steelers need to go with history.
If Ben is to win the Super Bowl at his advanced age, the Steelers should establish a successful running game, and try to win with defense.