Even after a slow start in the season opener, Ben Roethlisberger did what he always does … he found a way to win. Even after hitting Hines Ward with mere seconds on the clock in regulation for what appeared to set up a game-winning field goal, Big Ben overcame Ward’s subsequent fumble to lead his team to victory in overtime.
Statistics rarely reveal Roethlisberger’s true worth as a franchise quarterback.
Yeah, he’s sacked a lot, but he often finds a way to win. He worked his magic Thursday night with manipulating pump fakes that lured the Titans secondary out of position and helped uncover his downfield receivers. Even amidst a threatening Titans pass rush, Big Ben remained calm while holding the ball a few more precious seconds until he found his man.
Like a modern-day John Elway, Roethlisberger simply is at his best when the designed play begins to break down. During the second phase of a developing play, Big Ben’s mobility and strength allow him to extend the play and buy more time to find the open man. It is during the extended second phase of a developing play when the defense is most vulnerable. When Ben began to buy more time with his movement, the Titans defense began to break down in both its rush lanes and pass coverage.
Like Elway, Roethlisberger has already won two Super Bowls, and he’s looking for more. He’s young, mobile and tough to tackle in the pocket. He now manipulates coverages and moves defenders like pieces on a chess board. If he keeps this up, the comparisons to Terry Bradshaw come next.
For Roethlisberger, four Super Bowl titles may seem improbable, but if he keeps playing like this, it will not be impossible.