It's routine with Ben: It's something Steelers fans have become accustomed to, so when you see Ben Roethlisberger completed 34 passes for 380 yards and four touchdown passes it's just another day at the office.
Game action from Week 5 against the New York Jets.
But it's more than that. Roethlisberger has thrown at least four touchdown passes in back-to-back games for the second time in his career. He also has at least four touchdown passes for the 12th time in his career, extending his franchise record. His performance over the Jets was his 48th 300-yard passing game of his career.
"I'm so used to Ben just responding like that because it's just Ben to me now," said Le'Veon Bell. "I don't look at it like, 'Oh wow, that's amazing,' because I am just so used to seeing it but he is just a special player. I wouldn't want to play with any other quarterback. He is a guy who is always composed in the pocket. I will watch him, even when I am running my routes, and sometimes when he doesn't throw me the ball I am just watching him throw it to somebody else and he just never seems rattled. I don't know how you get that, playing in the pocket, when you have got big guys, 300 pounds, trying to take your head off, but he is so composed and always keeps his cool, and you got to respect him for that, and I am glad I play with him."
Roethlisberger completed passes to six players, including nine each to Antonio Brown and Bell.
Yes, just another day at the office.
Ringing the Bell:** Speaking of Bell, he continues to be a dual threat for the Steelers in the passing and ground game. Bell caught nine passes for 88 yards, and had 20 carries for 66 yards. Bell now has posted at least 100 yards from scrimmage in 23 career regular-season games. Bell also set a personal regular season single-game high with the nine receptions.
Quietly effective: The last two weeks the Steelers played with a patchwork offensive line, and for the second straight week it wasn't noticeable. This week that was thanks to Chris Hubbard, who stepped in at right tackle and went unnoticed all game, because of one thing, solid play. Hubbard did his part to keep a menacing Jets' defensive line at bay, and played a penalty-free game.
"We're not surprised," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "I think it's reasonable to expect a professional given an ample amount of time to prepare to play winning football. He's that. He's a professional. It's not his first year with us. He's been around the block. He had a week to prepare and he delivered. We appreciate the contributions, but we're not surprised by it."
Roethlisberger praised the line overall, and Hubbard specifically.
"They were unbelievable," said Roethlisberger. "How about Hubbard stepping up and playing. That is arguably one of the best defensive lines and front sevens in football and our guys were just phenomenal. They are the catalyst for us. They drive us. We go as they go and they had a great day today."
Keeping confidence:** It was a game of ups and downs for receiver Sammie Coates, but his ups made a huge difference in the Steelers 31-13 win. Coates came out of the gate hot with a 72-yard touchdown reception from Roethlisberger to give the Steelers an early 7-3 lead. He finished with six receptions for 139 yards, Coates first 100-yard receiving game. While Coates, who suffered a cut finger in the game, had some key drops, he rebounded and closed out the game with a five-yard touchdown reception to seal the win.
"He had some great plays," said Roethlisberger. "He had some drops – big drops for us. But he bounced back. And that's the biggest thing. He ends the game making some first down catches, staying in bounds. And then the touchdown, which is a big catch for him. I loved to let him know that my confidence isn't going to waver in him if he has a couple of drops."
The 'D' does it: The contributions from the defense were plentiful, and held the Jets to just one touchdown.
"We are just playing off of each other," said Vince Williams. "We have a great team continuity here. Our offense is going to put up points and we are going to go out there and give them the ball back as much as we can. When you have all three phases of the game working like that, it's going to produce wins."
Williams had another spectacular game, following up his performance last week with nine tackles, a sack, three tackles for a loss, and two quarterback hurries. Stephon Tuitt also had his second strong performance in a row, finishing with four tackles and three passes defensed. In addition, Ryan Shazier, eight tackles and half a sack, Mike Mitchell, seven tackles, Jordan Dangerfield, four tackles, Anthony Chickillo with his first career sack. Okay, the list could go on because the defense was solid.
"Our defense is continually getting better," said Bell. "We have got a lot of young guys and I think they are just growing each and every week. Last week they played an astounding game. And this week they followed it up. Obviously, they have got good players on the other side like Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, who got their plays, but we held them in check and didn't allow them to take the game over. You have to give a lot of credit to our defense."