Though the position of signal caller has always been considered the most important position on the gridiron, there has been more discussion of this position than usual this year. The shock wave of quarterback speculation began, as usual, before the 2016 NFL draft with speculation over whether Jared Goff or Carson Wentz should be drafted with the first overall pick. Then there was the talk of whether new free agent signees would perform up to their respective salaries, followed by speculation of loss of production by once Pro Bowl caliber QBs, as well as the possibility of Super Bowl hangovers.
At the Week 6 mark in the NFL season, we find the answers to many of our questions; Yes, Carson Wentz is nice, Yes, Tom Brady jumped right back in without missing a beat after serving a four-game penance for perceived wrongdoings, No, the Carolina Panthers don’t look as good as they did last year, and, yes, Colin Kaepernick will be starting for the San Francisco 49ers after a five game sample from Blaine Gabbert. Throw in the resurgence of the Atlanta Falcons and Matty “Ice” Ryan, and it’s easy to see how someone like Ben Roethlisberger might get overlooked. He’s third in passing yardage behind Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals.
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The Steelers were 3-2 around this time last year, with losses to the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens. With injuries to their starting and second string quarterbacks, as well as stud running back Le’Veon Bell, it was something of a small miracle that they eventually scrapped their way to a 10-6 record. That was a testament to the coaching of Mike Tomlin.
Despite a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers had been cruising right along quite efficiently without Le’Veon Bell in their first three games this year. Though DeAngelo Williams was representing in subbing in for Bell, he’s not the most explosive offensive weapon in the National Football League. Bell has a really good argument for that title, but that’s what makes the Steelers’ early season success so amazing. He has only played in two games!
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With over a third of the regular season already in the can, the synergy between Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger is a big reason why. The 34-year-old field general is throwing as accurately, and with as much zip, as he ever has in his career. He’s currently completing 65 percent of his passes and is averaging 299.2 yards, with a robust 106 passer rating, thanks in large part to wide receiver Antonio Brown.
But the freaky-deaky part is the 15 TDs to 5 INTs with 11 games left in the regular season. It’s rudimentary to imagine that Ben is on track to throw 40 TDs or more this season, and it’s also very possible. Such a mark would blow his prior career high of 32 touchdowns completely out of the water.
Would that be enough to finally earn Ben Roethlisberger the NFL MVP Trophy that has eluded him thus far?
Well, it’s not like the absence of the trophy is a big dent in his armor. After all, dude has two Super Bowl rings. However, like putting a booming system in a Porsche 911, not having one doesn’t make him less of a beast from a historic perspective – but it would be nice.