The Pittsburgh Steelers have a very tough opponent in the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, but while many experts and pundits predict another loss for the Steelers, the Chiefs players and coaches aren’t buying into those narratives.
The biggest question mark in this matchup is undoubtedly the play of Ben Roethlisberger. Coming off a 5 interception performance, many are questioning if Roethlisberger is still ‘Big Ben’, or a quarterback on the decline. Prior to the game, both Andy Reid and Alex Smith were asked about Roethlisberger, and his play throughout the 2017 season, and their answers suggest the Chiefs are not about to think Roethlisberger can’t hang 4 touchdowns on them again, something he did in their meeting at Heinz Field in 2016.
Ben Roethlisberger made a comment after the game on Sunday that maybe he doesn’t have it anymore, have you noticed anything with him now versus earlier in his career?
“I think that was more just to back people off from the questions. We get hit with a couple questions and that can be the back off deal. I know that we have to play against a heck of a player, a future hall of fame player. We got to get ourselves ready, we don’t think much about all those comments. We know what kind of player he is and we know we’ve got to get ourselves ready to play him. So that’s where we’re at.”
How do you look at a guy like Ben Roethlisberger that has obviously had a great career but is also struggling?
“For me, it is hard to put too much stock in one game. I did get to see a little bit of that game because it was one before ours. There are also a lot of plays in that game that he did make in that game. A lot of production. Certainly, the turnovers hurt you. A couple of the picks, one of them falling down. So I know he was frustrated in the moment, I know he said this and it is easy to make too much of it. I think he is still playing at a pretty good level from afar.”
As for Smith, he comments not directly related to Roethlisberger, but about quarterbacks who are getting ‘long in the tooth’ were very insightful.
“Everyone’s path is so different and individual. Everyone is different and everyone’s style of play is different. Everybody’s body is different, how they react. Everyone has a different routine and how they go about their business. It is just so hard to compare. But, certainly, it can have an effect. Everyone just deals with those things in different ways. Some better than others. Tom (Brady) is a great example. He is a guy that has played a long, long time. He has taken a lot of hits over the years, a lot of wear and tear. Through his routine and the way he goes about his business, his mindset, he seems to handle it pretty well.”
This certainly would pertain to Roethlisberger at his current stage in his NFL career. As the Steelers approach the Kansas City game at Arrowhead Stadium, the play of Roethlisberger won’t be the only aspect to watch, but it will be under a microscope. Every throw will be analyzed and potentially ridiculed based on accuracy and execution. Such is life as a quarterback in the NFL, but don’t think the Chiefs are buying Roethlisberger’s waning career to extend into Week 6.