2020 has defied everything about the term normal: Wearing masks have become a part of everyday life, football stadiums remain close to empty on game day, and the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t off to such a slow start. Following a 38-29 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers reached a 4-0 start to their season for the first time since 1979.
As of late, both the Steelers and franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have been known to begin their season slowly, whether it be on the scoreboard or simply terms of play. Some believe head coach Mike Tomlin’s lack of play time for starters in the preseason may be a catalyst for such events, while others believe Pittsburgh just takes a little more time to shake off the rust than the rest of the league.
Roethlisberger is no stranger to slow starts. Only three times since 2005, Roethlisberger held an average passer rating of 100.0 or higher: 2005, 2012 and 2016. Two of those years (2005/2016) saw the Steelers appear in the AFC Championship, with a Lombardi trophy brought back to Pittsburgh in 2005.
Roethlisberger’s passer rating through four games in 2020? 110.4, the second-highest in his career as a full-time starting quarterback. It’s also the second time he’s thrown 10-plus touchdowns in four games, but only has one interception compared to the four in 2016.
While planning championship parades now shouldn’t be a priority, the Steelers are 4-0 thanks to dominant defensive play and the revival of a Hall of Fame quarterback once thought to only be a shade of himself.
Heading into a prominent week six match-up with a 4-1 Cleveland Browns team, Roethlisberger looks to continue an impressive performance against a Philadelphia defense in which he completed nearly 80% of his passes with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in