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Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger looks at the myriad of mistakes he and the Steelers committed during their home loss to Jacksonville, Oct. 8. (Photo by Courier Photographer Will McBride)

Ben Roethlisber throws five interceptions in lopsided loss to Jaguars—Now the undefeated KC Chiefs want a shot at the Steelers on Oct. 15

Last Sunday, Oct. 8, the Jacksonville Jaguars splattered the Pittsburgh Steelers in general and, more specifically, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, all over Heinz Field by the untidy score of 30-9. However, the week before, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown echoed “Charlie Brown” with a few wah wah wah’s because he didn’t get enough “attention” in the Steelers’ 26-9 victory over the Ravens.

Why wasn’t Brown throwing a tantrum on the sidelines a few days ago when his partner-in-crime Big Ben unceremoniously tossed not 1, not 2 but 5 interceptions to the Jaguars, 2 of which were pick-sixes? Well, I suspect Brown wasn’t all that upset because he got his, period. Brown was targeted 19 times and caught 10 passes for 157 yards. Roethlisberger attempted 55 passes, completed 33 of them for 312 yards. Do the math, class. Brown received over half the pass completions and was the target of 19 of the 55 passes attempted by “Big” Ben. Also, out of the approximately 50 percent of the balls targeted for him, Brown experienced some sort of over-and under double coverage and on some plays maybe even triple coverage.

When it was brought to Big Ben’s attention that there were some “unusual” things that happened on some of those interceptions, he replied sort of nonchalantly: “Yep, that’s the way the ball bounces sometimes. You play this game long enough, you are going to get those games.”

Huh, get those games? What games?

COURIER PHOTOGRAPHER WILL McBRIDE captures Antonio Brown in action during the Oct. 8 game against the Jaguars. Brown played well, but the Steelers as a whole did not, losing, 30-9.

If you play this game long enough, you should not be “fixated” with one or two players allowing defensive opponents to almost predict your every move. You should also know enough to throw the ball away or intentionally ground the ball if the situation calls for it. The worst thing that will happen after an intentional grounding penalty is a punt…duh?

When Roethlisberger was asked whether “something fluky” was part of him being picked he said: “The first pick, I got a little pressure and had to throw a little early. The guy made a great play. The second pick, the ball got tipped and ended up hitting the linebacker in the chest. The third one, tipped again. And on the fourth one, the guy hit my arm. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Five interceptions? No, that is not the way that it is supposed to go sometimes or anytime. The ball is designed to bounce that way from midget league to the NFL…period. It appears as if Roethlisberger is and has been suffering from “the security blanket syndrome.” For Roethlisberger to excel, he has almost always had a security blanket to cover him when times got a bit “fuzzy.” No folks, I am not joking. When he first came onto the scene in 2004 and was pressed into service, he had Hines Ward and future NFL Hall-of-Fame running back Jerome Bettis doing the heavy lifting. As the years went on, often without a credible offensive line he still possessed a few deadly weapons like running back “Fast” Willie Parker, all-purpose quarterback, running back and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, wide receivers Plaxico “top gun” Burress, Santonio Holmes, Mike Wallace and a host of “weapons of pass-destruction,” helping usher him into the winner’s circle time and time again. Security blankets are the product of laziness and almost always produce an element of predictability for your opponents. Almost all of us knows what happens to those that are predictable.

The Steelers now have to travel to Kansas City, one of the Barbeque “meccas” of America to face the rising Kansas City Chiefs, Oct. 15. Let’s hope that the Steelers don’t become a side dish on the Chiefs’ menu.

(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com. )

 

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