Despite their 2-5 record to start the 2013 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking to make some dubious history this season.
They are on pace to get their quarterback hit more than any season in the past. That’s something that this team unfortunately doesn’t want to be known for, but unfortunately that is their M.O. right now.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has already been sacked 26 times in 2013, fourth most in the NFL and on pace for a career-high 59.
Of course that is if he makes it through the entire season and past history suggests that he likely won’t.
Roethlisberger is getting hit at a record pace. The 26 sacks is one thing, but the amount of times he gets hit per game and the amount of sacks he escapes on a game per game basis just adds to the punishment he has to take every Sunday.
No other quarterback in the NFL takes the beating Roethlisberger does and the biggest reason why the Steelers have underachieved the past two seasons mainly has to do with protecting the franchise quarterback.
Taking punishment is nothing new for Big Ben. He has been sacked 370 times — 406 including postseason games — in his career, more than anyone in those 10 seasons.
But the funny part is that former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was let go prior to last season because he wasn’t doing a good enough job protecting Roethlisberger. While Arians was in town, Big Ben was sacked more than any quarterback in the league — 215 times in five years, including his career high of 50 sacks in 2009.
The appointment of Todd Haley as offensive coordinator was supposed to bring that number down, but it is having the reverse affect as Roethlisberger is taking more punishment than even before and should be in for a long day against a decent New England Patriots pass rush.
Criticizing the Steelers offensive line is like beating a dead horse.
There are major problems up front that aren’t going to be fixed any time soon.
Unfortunately it may cost them their quarterback one of these weeks.