Steelers' D looks great, but the same can’t be said for Big Ben | You Pod to Win the Game

Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and Frank Schwab discuss Pittsburgh’s dominating defense in a 23-16 victory over Buffalo. However, on the other side of the ball, Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played like his days in the league are numbered. Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript


CHARLES ROBINSON: The Buffalo Bills lose at home, at home. And by the way, they were lining up for this game, I heard, at, like, 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM. Like, there was, like, a mile of traffic to get into the stadium. They lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers 23 to 16. And to me, what was remarkable in this game was Pittsburgh, particularly on defense, looked like-- I don't know what it is. Like, I don't know how they continue to rejuvenate sort of the style of who they are, where they just beat up opposing quarterbacks.

Yes, you know, last year, they're banged up. There were times where they've had, you know, beaten up rosters or whatever. But I'm just saying, on balance, you go a long enough timeline and the Pittsburgh defense continues to kind of look at, like, this aggressive style that just makes guys uncomfortable. Josh Allen was built to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. He's big, he's sturdy, he's mobile. He can do things off script and get out of the pocket. But in this one, the Steelers got the best of him. Like, it just-- it looked to me like, I don't know about the offense, but that Pittsburgh defense, to me, looks a hell of a lot like everything we've liked out of them during the entire Mike Tomlin era.

FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah, you know, when I looked at the final line and saw-- I think Josh Allen had about 260 hours or whatever. If you would've told me he had 120, I'd have been like, yeah, that makes sense. He was confused the whole game. Like, just it looked like Pittsburgh had like two extra guys on the field. Everybody was covered. He was under pressure all the time, and he didn't make-- I didn't see him make one comfortable throw where he was, you know, just in rhythm hitting a guy. It just never happened for him. That defense was just swarming. I was really impressed with the defense.

And now, you know, we do this when teams win. Like, if the Pittsburgh Steelers would have lost this game, we would have been talking about, oh my goodness, they have a Ben Roethlisberger problem. He was not good in this game, Charles, and it's scary. It is-- I just kept watching that game, especially when they were losing, and saying, Ben is just-- I don't know that this is going to happen.

CHARLES ROBINSON: To me, Ben represents everything the league-- and I don't mean this in terms of play style, but the era that the league is completely moving past now. And what I mean by that--

FRANK SCHWAB: Oh, yeah, yeah.

CHARLES ROBINSON: --when you look at, on balance, a lot of the teams you like today, that you enjoyed watching today, all young quarterbacks, all guys that can really move around well, all have big arms. It is concerning. But I also think, look, if this is what comes down the pipeline for the Pittsburgh Steelers down the stretch, that shit is on management, OK? Because we all knew-- I mean, I'm sorry, the last two years of Ben, we've been like, I don't know, man, is this it? I don't know, is this it? Is this it?

And I think one of the things Terez and I talked about last year, I was like, look, if Stafford comes available, holy shit. If I'm the-- if I'm the Pittsburgh Steelers, I'm sitting there going, let me get three, four years out of that guy. With the defense we have now, with the skill position, like, can you imagine? If you're going to go with a veteran guy, go with a veteran guy who still has got some years left. Ben definitely isn't that guy.

FRANK SCHWAB: Charles, this offseason, like, they basically said, you've got to take a massive pay cut, or you're gone. And I almost felt like the Steelers wanted him to say no.


FRANK SCHWAB: You know? Like, they could have just been like, hey, you know, salary cap, we had to do what we had to do. When he's like, OK, sure, I'll come back for $14 million, it was almost like, oh, OK, well, great, yeah, thanks. Ben's back. Like, he was-- look, he just-- he had major elbow reconstruction at age 37, and he's 39 now. It's just-- and I'm not trying to like-- you know, I don't want to dwell on the negative. The Steelers won a-- that was a huge win for them. The Bills are going to be a good team still, I think.

But I just wonder what their ceiling is if the quarterback plays like that, because I know Mason Rudolph ain't coming and saving the day. So it's like, they just got to roll with Ben and try to win games like this all the time. Block a punt for a touchdown, stuff like that, get a fourth and 1 stop at midfield. It's-- it is almost a formula, and that's pretty-- that's a high-wire act in the NFL. It's tough to maintain that.