Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger got a contract extension. He’s signed through 2021.
The anti-Ben brigade is out in full force: “OH, SWEET JESUS, 16 INTERCEPTIONS!”
F that and F them.
Roethlisberger will have a great year and the Steelers will win the AFC North. (F Cleveland, while we’re at it.)
This season, Roethlisberger can just play.
Roethlisberger’s passing yardage will shrink because he won’t be forcing the ball to Antonio Brown. But his interceptions will shrink because he won’t be forcing the ball to Brown. His interceptions will also shrink because in AB’s absence, Roethlisberger’s receivers won’t improvise on routes. Sometimes that was part of the magic, but sometimes that was part of the problem.
Roethlisberger won’t be compelled to worry about anybody’s statistics or touches. He can just play. Roethlisberger is a better QB than Le’Veon Bell is a RB, or Brown is a WR.
Roethlisberger is also a winner. He will manage the game and execute the offense with a focus on winning and nothing else. The distractions are gone. (Let’s hope.)
The Steelers have a great offensive line.
RB James Conner had a better year in 2018 than Bell did in 2017.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster will mostly replace Brown. Heck, Smith-Schuster's stats were better than Brown’s last season. That was organic. Smith-Schuster didn’t sit up and beg for stats like Brown did. He just got open.
Roethlisberger will make the other receivers better. If TE Vance McDonald stays healthy, he will be Godzilla.
Roethlisberger makes the Pro Bowl, and the Steelers win the division. Bet on it.
Courtesy of Getty Images.