The defense gave up alot of yards. I was really surprised by that. They looked sluggish heading into the third quarter and that affected the run stopping. Ray Rice had his way on the ground and they dont usually give up alot of rushing yards. Great new though steeler hopeful. You have Ben Roethlisberger who is capable of passing for 4,000 yards with %60+ accuracy along with fourth quarter comeback ability. Until Payton Manning returns, the five AFC elite quarterbacks are Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub.
With one road game out of the way against Flacco, Roethlisberger faces only three elite quarterbacks the rest of the season — Flacco, Brady and Schaub. Chances of an 11- or 12-win season are very good.
One of the reasons I extend the elite designation to a dozen or more is because of their predictable success against teams with non-elite quarterbacks. Over the past three years, for example, Roethlisberger is 23-7 against non-elite quarterbacks, a .760 winning percentage. Flacco is 26-3, Brady is 19-5 and Rivers is 19-10 after a strange 2010 season in which special teams breakdowns cost the Chargers games; Rivers went 7-6 against teams with non-elite quarterbacks in 2010. Schaub has been elite for only two years and is 12-8 against non-elite QBs. What this tells me is Roethlisberger should go around 9-3 this season against non-elite quarterbacks. As long as he splits his four games against elite quarterbacks, the Steelers should go around 11-5. After all, the Steelers are playing the NFC West and an AFC South that has Manning on the sideline. So relax, Pittsburgh fans. One loss on the road to Baltimore doesn’t derail the path for Roethlisberger and the Steelers.