How Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger improved from five-interception game

From ESPN - January 14, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- When Ben Roethlisberger said on his radio show last week that he wanted a rematch with the Jaguars, it got the attention of a Jacksonville defense eager to prove those five interceptions were not a fluke.

The Steelers quarterback's play has improved dramatically since Pittsburgh's Week 5 home loss in which he tossed those five picks, fueling the confidence to call for that rematch in Sunday's AFC divisional round of the playoffs.

Roethlisberger now is one of the league's hottest quarterbacks, with 325 yards per game and 16 total touchdowns over his past six games.

"He's locked everybody in," said Pittsburgh guard Ramon Foster.

Here are a few ways Roethlisberger can put together a cleaner performance this time against Jacksonville, one of the best defenses he will face.

Not forcing the issue

Roethlisberger's first pick from Week 5 shows backup running back James Conner failing to pick up a blitz, forcing Roethlisberger to misfire to an open Vance McDonald and letting Jalen Ramsey get back into the play.

Without the hit, Roethlisberger would likely have made the proper throw. But the Steelers' backfield blocking is better now, and with Roethlisberger's 12 sacks since that game, he has gone down when an easy play is out of reach. That's a good thing. He has limited turnovers as a result, throwing 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions in his final 10 games of the year.


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