The Pittsburgh Steelers- and many of their fans- were pleasantly surprised when they saw Landry Jones hold his own against the New England Patriots in Week 7.
Can’t really say that many Steelers fans actually expected them to win against Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and company. However, the Steelers kept a close game, and did make the Patriots work for their win.
You have to give some credit to Jones; he really didn’t do that bad. He had a decent game, where he threw one touchdown and one interception while tallying 281 yards on 29/47 completed passes. Sure, he wasn’t Tom Brady, but you can certainly make the argument that he did much better than Ben Roethlisberger did against the Miami Dolphins in Week 6.
Nobody really expected Jones to come out and sling a predominately good game at the New England Patriots. It was a lot different from the Jones we saw in the preseason. His performance against the Patriots certainly made fans forget about his four interception game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason.
So with Jones holding his own against the Patriots, and proving that he can play like an NFL quarterback should, do the Steelers really need to rush Big Ben back?
It seems like that’s what the Steelers are trying to do. Roethlisberger suffered his injury against the Dolphins. That makes his injury two weeks ago. The timetable for the return on his injury was four-to-six weeks. However, the Steelers are trying to push Roethlisberger to be under center against the Baltimore Ravens this coming Sunday. That would only be three weeks after his injury.
But then here’s the problem with Jones: he had a good game against the Patriots, but will that continue against the Ravens? If there’s anything that Jones has proven while in Steelers uniform, it’s that he’s incredibly inconsistent. He’ll have a game where he’ll look like an Aaron Rodgers and the next week he’ll look like Ryan Tannehill.
So what’s the final verdict? The hardcore Steelers fan in me, who doesn’t want Roethlisberger to further his injury by premeditating his return, wants to believe in Jones. I truly do give him the credit against the Patriots because credit is due for him. But can he keep up against another powerful secondary with the Ravens?
My verdict is that the Steelers should hold off on bringing Roethlisberger back until next week, when the Steelers face Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. By no means are either game an easy win for the Steelers, and both Mike Tomlin and Jones know that, but the Steelers need to have the mindset of keeping Roethlisberger healthy for the whole season. If he comes back and furthers the extent of his injury, then the Steelers will be stuck with Jones for the rest of the season.
I say hold off for another week. Let Roethlisberger come back and show Prescott what it means to be an NFL quarterback and humiliate the Cowboys.
The Steelers have a long tradition of giving the Cowboys something to cry about.
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