A common theme over the past several seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers has been lackluster play along the offensive line. Ben Roethlisberger has suffered countless injuries over his career as a result of constant pressure in his face from opposing defenses.
In Week 9, although he left the game unscathed, his offensive line let him down once again in a big way. Going into the game, the New England Patriots knew they had to exploit the offensive line in order to win. Well, that was exactly what they did. On the day, Roethlisberger was sacked five times while turning the ball over three times.
With all of that said, Roethlisberger did not look particularly sharp on the afternoon as he held onto the ball way too long on a few of his sacks. Unfortunately for him, his offensive line was still a major part of the reason why they lost the game.
Now, many people might look at the 55-31 final score and say that the defense was to blame and not the offensive line, and they would not be wrong for thinking that. However, when you turn the ball over three times and have several other drives that do not materialize, Tom Brady (his recent struggles not withstanding) is going to torch you.
You could argue that the Steelers’ turnovers were a direct result of pressure in Roethlisberger’s face, which is why I am blaming the offensive line for the loss in this game. The Steelers may not have won the game even if they kept Roethlisberger upright, but it would have been much more competitive, especially since the game remained close until the fourth quarter.