Ben Roethlisberger looks absolutely cooked in Steelers’ loss to Bengals

The Steelers lost at home to the Bengals on Sunday, and the number one concern for the team right now is the viability of their long-time quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

The 39-year-old looked miserable during Pittsburgh’s 24-10 loss, during which he attempted 58 passes – but only six of them went more than 15 yards downfield. Despite finishing with 318 passing yards, he averaged only 5.5 yards per attempt and threw two interceptions.

Perhaps the most glaring indictment on Roethlisberger came at the end of the game, with the Steelers down 14 and facing a fourth and 10 close to the goal line. With the game on the line, instead of pushing the ball past the sticks, the QB threw a swing pass to Najee Harris … five yards behind the line of scrimmage. The play predictably went for no gain.

Or, perhaps a moment in the second quarter where he was asked to roll out to his right:

The combination of Roethlisberger’s lack of athleticism and arm strength with the Steelers’ patchwork offensive line has led to a severely limited passing game under new offensive coordinator Matt Canada. Pittsburgh has dropped back-to-back home games to the Raiders and Bengals, and now faces a brutal stretch ahead: they play the Packers, Broncos, Seahawks and Browns over the next four games.

At 1-2 and with the potential for that record to get much worse, it begs the question – should they see what they have in either of their other quarterbacks? A CBS Sports report that surfaced before the loss claimed that the team is already concerned about the veteran’s ability to make it through 17 games this season. Roehtlisberger has already suffered a pectoral injury this season and has faced lots of pressure behind the weak offensive line.

Ben Roethlisberger looks absolutely cooked in Steelers’ loss to Bengals
Ben Roethlisberger during Sunday’s game against the Bengals.
Getty Images

“He isn’t any better, and he’s getting hit all the time now, too. That’s a problem,” an AFC exec told the website.

Current backup Mason Rudolph got an extended audition in 2019 after Roethlisberger went down with an injury, and the results were fairly underwhelming – he completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions over 10 games. But that was two years ago, and they also have former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins on the roster after he was released by Washington.

There’s also Cam Newton, who remains without a team after he was released by the Patriots in the offseason. Either way, it appears increasingly likely this could be the last year for Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh.