Why Ben Roethlisberger Continue to be,’King of the Jungle,’ Against the Bengals:
If there’s one encouraging sign Steelers Fans should feel good about it is Ben Roethlisberger’s career road statistics against the Bengals. It almost seems to be easy pickings, despite the last two tight games in Cincinnati. The Steelers find themselves in unfamiliar territory they haven’t felt in a long time, last place in the AFC North.
Going into this game, the Steelers are a 1 ½ games back in the division race. To make matters worse, the Steelers have yet to win a game in not only the AFC, but the Division. These next three divisional games will be highly critical, especially beginning with the Bengals. The season, no doubt is hanging in the balance with this game!
Let’s take a look at why Ben Roethlisberger will be called upon, once again, to play the role of hero in this bitter rivalry!
Ben Roethlisberger has a career 12-2 record in Cincinnati with a 104.7 average QB Rating. Each loss came from a game apiece from Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton. He has averaged 241 Yards Passing, with 17 TD’s to 10 INT’s. It may not be the numbers which knock your socks off, but it’s enough for Roethlisberger to also be the Ultimate Game Manager in these circumstances. What’s even more impressive is how he hasn’t missed a career start when visiting Cincinnati.
The key to this game will be to keep the interceptions to just one, at a minimum. He’s only lost twice in this aspect. On another note, another big factor, without the services of Le’Veon Bell, they are 1-2 lifetime in these decisive games.
Yes, while James Conner is continuing to improve, it is incumbent Roethlisberger and the offense control the time of possession with first downs and quick strikes. More importantly, the more this season goes on without Bell, it is critical Roethlisberger doesn’t get lost for any length of time. Two years ago, just being out for yet alone one game, Ben’s absence cost the team a first-round bye which was snagged by the Chiefs. In 2012, he missed three games which pretty much sealed their playoff fate that season.
Also, how much should we be concerned about Ben’s throwing elbow? This is the same elbow he injured in the Week 1 tie to the Browns. “It’s fine,” said Roethlisberger when speaking to the media on Wednesday. I don’t even need to talk about it. It’s good.”
Either way you slice it, Roethlisberger has become a Bengals killer in Paul Brown Stadium. The Season may still on life support, but it’s time to look past a brutal rivalry and play fine quality of 60 minutes of football. No matter, Roethlisberger and company will be looked upon to come through in the clutch to get the Steelers out of the cellar and back in the hunt for the AFC North crown!