If you were watching the game yesterday in a venue where you could hear Dan Dierdorff commentating, you would have certainly heard him gush about Roethlisberger's 'escapability'. And Roeth most definitely did have a remarkable day making would-be sackers miss. Of course, he wasn't successful 100 % of the time - Ben was sacked 4 times after all.
Still that number could have been quite a bit higher had Roeth not made the first and second guy miss while in the pocket. And typically, when you are able to get outside the pocket and let your WRs break off their patterns in a busted play, good things happen. They didn't yesterday however, for whatever reason. I contend though that Ben too often shrugged off his safety valve in an effort to hit one of those big plays that frequently occur in a broken play. Ben had an opportunity to check down to Najeh Daveport on multiple occasions yesterday on those plays he made a Cardinals rusher miss. He didn't do so once.
Then there's the simple matter of holding onto the ball for too long. On several of those 'escapes', Ben was forced to make something happen with his feet because there was simply no time at all. Other times though, Big Ben held on too long, and the pocket understandably collapsed. Again, trying to do too much too often. As we predicted earlier last week, there were big plays to be had down the field. Ben of course knew this too, and I think he maybe tried to make a big play in certain inappropriate situations. That's always been Roethlibserger's achilles heel - there's no situation, no throw, no challenge too impossible to take on. I like confidence. I don't like pride standing in the way of danger awareness.
Then of course, there was the pick in the endzone. I had issues with the play calling on first and second down given how unsuccessful we were running between the tackles. So on third down, when finally given a chance to throw it in, Ben forced an impossible throw. It was actually a pretty impressive throw, but Miller was double, if not triple covered, and the Cardinals defender made a great catch. That play, of course, was the turning point, and the Cards never looked back.
The results were not disastrous from Roethlisberger yesterday, but he better avoid what I call the 'Superman Syndrome' for the rest of the season. There will be times when the Steelers will need him to make things happen impromptu on his own. Far more often however, Big Ben is going to do more harm than good when trying to go at it alone.