QB Watch: Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger

October, 2, 2013
10/02/13
9:00
AM ET
A weekly analysis of the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback play:

Rewind: Ben Roethlisberger completed 36 of 51 passes for 383 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a 34-27 loss to the Vikings. Roethlisberger threw for more than 375 yards in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He also nearly led the Steelers back from a 17-point third-quarter deficit. Roethlisberger drove the Steelers to the Vikings' 6-yard line in the waning seconds of the game, but he lost a fumble when he was sacked on third down.

Roethlisberger
Fast Forward: Roethlisberger has six turnovers in the past two games. He said he doesn't count the last fumble as a turnover because he tried to get rid of the ball when he couldn't get out of the grasp of Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen with the Steelers out of timeouts. Roethlisberger said his interception earlier in the game resulted in a miscommunication between him and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders after Roethlisberger started scrambling.

Pass-happy in London: Roethlisberger's 51 pass attempts against the Vikings were the second-most of his career. The Steelers threw the ball at a 2-1 ratio in London because they played from behind -- not because the running game was ineffective. Rookie Le'Veon Bell performed as well as could be expected in his NFL debut, and Roethlisberger made it a point to tell the former Michigan State star on the plane ride that he had been impressed with his play. Look for the Steelers to show more balance on offense after they return from their bye.

Prediction: Continued improvement on offense is probably the biggest reason for optimism that the Steelers can rebound from an 0-4 start. Roethlisberger's supporting cast has received a serious upgrade with the return of Bell and tight end Heath Miller from injuries. And Roethlisberger at least proved last Sunday that the Steelers are rarely out of a game as long as he is the quarterback. "We just have to not take any steps back and keep trying to get better," Roethlisberger said, "because we feel that we are close."

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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