Steelers vs. Browns


Week six against the Cleveland Browns was a game that many Steelers fans had circled on the calendar prior to the beginning of the season.  Typically, that is because of the deep hatred towards the Browns from many Pittsburghers, but this time was different.  This time it was because it signaled the return of starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from his four-game suspension for his off the field misconduct during this past offseason.

As he ran out of the tunnel for the first time in the regular season, Big Ben heard nothing but cheers as he received a loud standing ovation.  I could not understand why this was the case.  Are we as Steelers Fans that forgiving, or are we just happy to see him back on the field so we can win more football games?  I’m not saying he should have been booed onto his home field, but I also don’t think he deserved the superstar treatment.  For a man who has put the proud Steelers organization to shame time and time again with off the field issues, I think he should feel lucky enough to still be wearing the black and gold uniform. 

If Ben Roethlisberger was not the franchise quarterback, I believe he would have received the same fate as Santonio Holmes this offseason.  The Steelers would have simply traded the subject of their embarrassment away as they did Holmes to the New York Jets.  I can understand why he was retained, but how much better of a team are they really with him under center?  The Steelers were able to start the season 3-1 without him even as they sustained other injuries to their back-up quarterbacks.  Really, they were just seconds away from beating the Ravens and going undefeated without him.  That makes it pretty hard to really do any better.  Though he did go 16-27 with for 257 yards and three touchdowns against Cleveland, the team seemed very sluggish and had one of their worse performances of the year. 

I understand that the Steelers beat the Browns 28-10, but considering the opponent and the fact that it was only 7-3 until the end of the third quarter I wasn’t very impressed with the Steelers performance.  Despite Roethlisberger’s early interception that gave the Browns their first three points, he is a good quarterback.  What I don’t know is how good of a leader he is.  The defense had their worst statistical game of the season and seemed to play uninspired.  That has to raise questions of this being a divided locker room.  It certainly was last year when Hines Ward called out Big Ben for not playing hurt and the team ended up missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record.  Did the defense play their hearts out in the first four games to prove to Roethlisberger they can win without him?  Did they not play as inspired against the Browns with him back?  That’s what it seemed like to me.  Hopefully, the team comes together as one and proves me wrong.  If they do, they have as good a chance as anyone to get to the Super Bowl, but only time will tell.