We all were spoiled by Tom Brady's fall for most quarterbacks, it's still sudden and steep. In the case of Ben Roethlisberger it looks like that he was Thelma and Louise on the edge. Steven Ruiz, the Ringer's director of video productions, cut Ben's throws up against the Bengals on Sunday and inserted them in grainy, western-style video footage with saloon songs on the background. This was not only one of the most entertaining things I've seen on Monday and Tuesday, but it also was the most sad, as Ben is completely shaved.
The Steelers have opted not to invest on the offensive line the offseason. This has led to a lackluster run game despite Najee Harris being drafted in the 1st round. Harris did receive 19 (!) targets during the pass game on Sunday, catching 14 passes. Lindsay Rhodes invited me to her show on Monday. She gave me this great story: Harris gained 109 yards through the catch and receiving yards of 102. Consider that!
The situation is confirmed by Ben's Next Gen Stats passing charts. The combination of these two factors has made this offense horizontal. There's no security and doesn't have the strength to push the ball downfield quickly.
Steelers wanted to play defense but the secondary was not strong and the defense line that is the most important aspect of this team has been affected by multiple starters. T.J. Watt was the most prominent player excluded from Sunday's game due to a groin injury. When he first left two weeks ago, the Steelers defense was in a slump and was an issue against Joe Burrow on Sunday as well. It's very difficult to discern the path to follow where these issues will be solved in a magical way.
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