3 reasons why the Big Ben era is coming to an end for the Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7)Pittsburgh Steelers At Cincinnati Bengals Dec 21
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7)Pittsburgh Steelers At Cincinnati Bengals Dec 21 /
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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

Ben’s arm isn’t as powerful as it once was.

The very pass he threw in Week 15 was a wildly underthrown deep ball to James Washington. The rough part is if that ball is placed where it is supposed to, Washington has a very valid chance to take it to the house as his defender was nearly 4 yards behind him on this play. #13 had won his route by a margin and had he gotten a pass in stride, the cornerback was not going to catch him.

It goes beyond a lot of the deep balls Ben has been underthrowing, rather than overthrowing like he was doing at the beginning of the season. Even a lot of his shorter throws are lacking the zip he used to put on his ball. There was an out route he threw to the right side of the field in the first quarter that was thrown on time, but it had been thrown without that bullet-like quality he used to have and the defender had the time to jump the route. Thankfully, he dropped the interception.

Roethlisberger can’t throw it as far as he once did, but the real killer is that he hasn’t been throwing it as hard as he once did either. I found myself wondering at one point in this game if his elbow was okay. Coming off of a near-career ending surgery, Ben had thrown almost 150 passes in 13 days and I started questioning whether his elbow was able to handle it. He lacked the zip that was so important to his play earlier in his career and as a result, some of the throws he made that looked like they were thrown into double coverage had just hung too long in the air. He did make some questionable decisions throughout the game but not all of his choices were bad.