Who to give Behind the Steel Curtain's fictitious game ball to this week? Multiple Steelers players turned in outstanding performances during Pittsburgh's 38-17 win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 5. Here's a few of the candidates for this week's game ball:
- Ben Roethlisberger: 24-34 (70.8%), 224 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
- Hines Ward: 7 receptions, 54 yards, 2 TDs
- LaMarr Woodley: 3 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT
- Max Starks: great return for the big guy
All deserving, but I'm going with the man who conceived the very effective offensive game plan, Bruce Arians. The much maligned offensive coordinator called a brilliant game I thought, and more importantly, he did the exceedingly difficult but important task of putting Roethlisberger in situations where he was less likely to hold on to the ball too long and put himself and his team in harm's way. Roethlisberger, nursing a sprained left foot, had lots of three step drops against the Titans. He may have not been able to take many shots down the field as a result, but the offensive line sure looked a lot better when they didn't have to hold their blocks for over three and a half seconds.
Sunday's offensive performance really should be the formula for success for this offense. Stick with the ground game even if it's not wildly successful; keep Roethlisberger upright with quick-hitting passes; and take the occasional shot deep to keep teams honest. For a week at least, Arians had it all figured out and just about everything he dialed up was working to perfection.