How To Beat Ben Roethlisberger
With Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey out for the Super Bowl there will be a lot of focus on the line of scrimmage when Pittsburgh has the football. The Steelers have a reputation for being a physical, grind-it-out team and that is certainly true on defense but offensively Pittsburgh will at times lean heavily on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Early in the season while Roethlisberger served a four game suspension, running back Rashard Mendenhall was a big part of Pittsburgh's offense. But since Big Ben's return Mendenhall topped the 100 rushing yards mark in only two games. Mendenhall also averaged less than four yards per carry and now with Pouncey out the Pittsburgh running game may not be as big a factor as some might think.
So the Steelers may lean on Roethlisberger again. To find the game plan to beat Roethlisberger you have to go back to September 21, 2008. On that day Pittsburgh played Philadelphia and the Eagles, known for aggressive defense, sacked Roethlisberger eight times. Thus the blueprint was set. Pittsburgh hasn't had a reliable offensive line for a few years and now come into Dallas working with a makeshift offensive line that has been riddled with injuries throughout 2010.
Look for the Packers to be just as aggressive. Let Mendenhall get his carries but the focus should be on getting to and bringing down Roethlisberger. In Pittsburgh's three losses with Roethlisberger at the helm the Steelers gave up 11 sacks and that pressure disrupted Pittsburgh's offensive rhythm. Those losses were to the Saints, Patriots and Jets and only New York has a defense that can be compared to Green Bay's. With the number of sacks the Packers have generated this year and the lack of depth at Pittsburgh's offensive line the key to beating Big Ben is bring the heat from all sides. A task the Packers have been up to throughout the postseason.