After missing 14 games last year due to elbow surgery, Ben Roethlisberger, many analysts said, would never be the same again. He was 38, he was injured, and his skills were diminishing. That was the narrative, anyway.
The reality has been much different.
Roethlisberger has completed 67.0 percent of his passes for 777 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception for the Steelers (3-0), who are undefeated and atop the AFC North.
Roethlisberger’s former teammate, Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu, isn’t surprised by any of this.
“No, Ben’s always been so great in overcoming doubt from people and winning in underdog circumstances,” Polamalu said on Tiki & Tierney. “And really the organization as a whole, I think the success that they’ve had this year is just really a continuation of a great tradition that they have there in Pittsburgh. I think this year, so far, they are in great position.”
The Steelers beat the Giants 26-16 in Week 1, the Broncos 26-21 in Week 2, and the Texans 28-21 in Week 3. Their Week 4 matchup with the Titans (3-0) was postponed due to COVID-19.
The Steelers have made the playoffs 12 times since 2001 and haven’t missed the playoffs since 2003 – Polamalu’s rookie season. Polamalu played for the Steelers until 2014, winning two Super Bowls and playing in another. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro.
“The sentiment within the organization has always been, ‘Just get us to the playoffs, and that’s when we’ll really shine,” Polamalu said. “When they make statements like they have so far earlier this season, it seems like more and more great things are going to come from the team.”
The Steelers host the Eagles (1-2-1) this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.