On a day that should have been somewhat of a cakewalk, Steelers head coach Bill Cowher cost the Steelers any chance of a win against an overmatched Raiders team. In a sentement that will be repeated time and time again, Cowher used awful judgement in starting woozy quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and not backup Charlie Batch, who to date was having an outstanding season. Roethlisberger looked like he did after his first game back after his emergency surgery before the opener, he was not sharp, and threw four interceptions, two of which were brought back for 14 of the Raiders 20 points. The result – the champs are dead – 20-13 losers to a team that they should have beaten with relative ease. The game was highlighted by the stubborn Cowher, not realizing that after Big Ben started with two picks in his first four throws, that he should have lifted his franchise QB for Charlie Batch.
Cowher will face the media and defend his decision to keep Ben in there, but there was no need whatsoever to keep watching Ben miss passes, as well as get sacked time after time against an overmatched offensive line. The final numbers on Ben – 25-of-37 for 301, 1 TD and 4 picks — again two that were brought back for TD’s. Now at 2-5, the Steelers are basically off life support and in the grave. With 10 games to play, they are 2 back of the second place Bengals, who they have already lost to, and 3 back of the Ravens, who came out and played back to their early level of the season with a big win over the Saints.
As stated earlier last week, Batch should have been the answer, not only for this week, but for next week as well. He’s healthy, he has played well, and he likely would have not made the bad errors that in finale cost the Steelers the game. Yes the Raiders played another decent game, but when your offense puts up less than 100 yards, the other team ought to win – with ease. Now with the season lost before Thanksgiving, the Steelers will be forced to basically play the role of spoiler – mostly because Cowher’s poor decision has spoiled the Steelers season already.