The Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback took the play-calling into his own matters.
The Pittsburgh Steelers‘ offense has struggled for the last month and a half. Part of that is due to the regression of Ben Roethlisberger‘s arm. The other is due to due to Randy Fichtner still retaining the rights as the offensive coordinator.
One has to wonder what changed during the team’s 28-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. According to NFL Network’s Michael Silver, it was the person calling the shots.
After the first half, the Colts defense was apparently calling out plays to another of what the Steelers were running on the afternoon. It became apparent that Fichtner was predictable in what designs were going to be run.
So, what did Roethlisberger do? He called the plays himself for the remainder of the second half. The result? A victory and the AFC North title.
Roethlisberger should just be the OC from now on
Roethlisberger apparently gave a roaring speech at halftime to the offense. That was enough to get the ball rolling down 21-7.
But Roethlisberger also looked better in the passing game. Last week against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals, his average pass travel 4.5 yards. This time around? 7.3. More than that, several throws through the air went longer than 10 yards, including a pair of touchdowns to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson.
Fichtner’s predictability now has proven to be the problem. All three losses for the Steelers this season came against teams who were underdogs entering the game. Despite decent secondary play from Buffalo and Washington all season, their offenses should have struggled to haul in any points.
When that happens, one blames the better team.
Roethlisberger threw touchdown passes on three consecutive drives. He looked like old Big Ben once again. More than that, the Steelers’ offense looked competent with a limited run game.
This is the Steelers team fans love to root for. It’s also the one that looked like the last undefeated team in the NFL for 2020. Hopefully, it stays for Week 17 and Roethlisberger is calling his own plays.
If not, at least Mike Tomlin can admit it’s Fichtner needs to be shown the door.