With Ben out of action until the divisional game against Cleveland at Heinz Field on October 17th, the Steelers have compiled a 3-1 record. This was a pleasant surprise to most Steeler fans out there, as most would have expected a 2-2 record or worse. The Steelers however, thought differently.
Despite not having Ben Roethlisberger for the first 4 games, Pittsburgh found ways to win. They relied heavily on their defense to step up and that they have. Pittsburgh ranks 4th in overall defense, only allowing 289.0 total yards per game. They also rank 1st in rush defense, only allowing 62.2 rushing yards per game. Pittsburgh takes pride in their rush defense under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who is in his 7th season with Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh ranks 8th in the league in rushing with 133.5 yards per game, thanks in part to Rashard Mendenhall. They rank a league low 32nd in passing without Big Ben, averaging a mere 136 yards per game.
If they can go 3-1 with their back-ups in at quarterback, what kind of team will they be now that they have their main man on offense back?
This team seems to play better with a chip on their shoulder. They have proven that time and time again. You better believe BB has something to prove when he steps on the field for the first time this season. Mike Tomlin expects the fans at Heinz field to give Ben a warm welcome back to the team.
Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterly Report Card
Passing Offense Grade: F
With Ben out, Dixon on IR, and Leftwich injured, they relied on Charlie Batch to manage the games.
Rushing Offense Grade: B+
Mendenhall proves once again that he can carry the load for this team and helped the defense rest while he plugged away at opposing defenses.
Pass Defense Grade:B+
With a healthy Troy and Bryant McFadden back, this secondary has greatly improved from last year.
Rush Defense Grade: A+
Pittsburgh ranks 1st in rush defense. They have only had one 100 yard rusher against them (Ray Rice) in the last 39 games.
Overall Grade: B
Pittsburgh looks strong this year and will continue to improve with BB returning against Cleveland.
Although Big Ben was not permitted to even practice with the team during his 4 game suspension, that didn’t prevent him from staying sharp. Ben hired a personal trainer during his suspension and was working on mechanics and footwork.
Ben feels ready to take on the Cleveland Browns this Sunday and wants to take this team to further success.
The Browns have also had quarterback issues, and may be starting their 3rd round draft choice Colt McCoy this Sunday.
FAST FORWARD TO OCTOBER 19th.
Now Pittsburgh is 4-1. With BB back I wonder who can top them???