I'm a huge fan of the television show "The Office." We can all agree that the show was still funny after the departure of Michael Scott, but it wasn't close to as good without Steve Carrell's character.
Sure, Jim and Dwight were up to their typical hijinks. Kevin, Stanley, and Creed all made you chuckle. Without Michael Scott, though, the show was without its biggest star.
There were many things to take away from last night's Steelers win: The defense was terrific in getting after Daniel Jones and in mitigating the efforts of SaQuon Barkley. JuJu Smith-Schuster looked like his old self again. Chase Claypool and Benny Snell look like they'll be able to aid the efforts this year.
Don't overthink this, though, last night was about Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers scored 26 or more points in just four games last season. They only did it three times in games that Roethlisberger didn't start.
Last night, the Steelers offense was largely poop for the better part of the first 28 minutes. Then a switch flipped on the 78-yard two-minute drill. The offense stunk for nearly HALF the game, and yet, they still put up 26 points. Why? #7 is back.
On that 78-yard drive, Ben completed five passes and scrambed 11-yards for a first down. That type of precision and game management wasn't part of the Steelers repertoire last year.
It is now.
JuJu Smth-Schuster was bad in 2019. He'd admit it. With Roethlisberger back in the fold, JuJu looked like a number one wide receiver again.
Ben targeted nine players in the passing game, and eight Steelers wound up with catches. Vintage Ben.
He wasn't perfect. He missed Benny Snell on a dump off, hit Diontae Johnson in the back, overthrew Eric Ebron, and threw one behind Vance McDonald. Still, his "average" game was better than the best that Rudolph and Hodges (dweedle-dee and tweedle-duck) had to offer last year.
All told, Roethlisberger threw for 229 yards, three touchdowns, and ZERO interceptions. Not bad for a guy who injured his elbow 365 days ago.
There are plenty of things worthy of discussion from last nights game, but none of them approach the importance of Roethlisberger's return.