Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger quietly had an outstanding game in Pittsburgh's 17-9 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5. His performances through five games this year have been well-balanced between deep passing and short spread-imitating plays. The Steelers' offense generally has responded well to the production he's creating.
Ben currently sits fourth in Pro Football Focus's version of the passer-rating statistic, one that eliminates spikes, throwaways and drops from the equation, leaving a statistic more representative of what the quarterback did in a game. Roethlisberger sits at 96.04 behind Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers (102.27), San Diego's Phillip Rivers (101.80) and Seattle's Russell Wilson (100.70).
Roethlisberger is completing 69 percent of his passes, which is fourth in the NFL, and his 7.71 yards per attempt average is 10th. He hasn't thrown an interception in his last 106 passes and currently has a streak of three consecutive games without an interception.
With Roethlisberger now settling in and the Steelers apparently weaning away from a running game that was highly effective during the first two weeks of the season, eyes are drawn to perhaps Ben's most-glaring statistic; he has taken 15 sacks through five games, the most in the NFL. It's not exactly rare to see Roethlisberger lead in this category, and many of these are not failures in the protection. He's throwing deeper passes the last two games and he's standing firm in the pocket, making him susceptible to a more-aggressive pass rush.
The Steelers got a big gain on a delayed, open screen to running back Le'Veon Bell in their win against Jacksonville, but that outlet throw has been appearing less frequently as the season unfolds, with the Steelers instead attacking down the field more often.
With Cleveland's weakened secondary next on the docket, it'll be interesting to see how the Steelers choose to attack the Browns defense - a unit the Steelers torched during the first half of their Week 1 win.