The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to a 2-5 start through seven games played and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is on both a career and franchise record pace. Those records, however, are ones that the Steelers don't want him breaking as it involves the amount of times he's been sacked in a single season.
Heading into the Week 9 game against the New England Patriots, Roethlisberger has already been sacked 26 times and that is a personal best for him through the first seven games of any regular season since being drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
Should he stay on that current pace and remain healthy, Roethlisberger will be sacked 59 times this season and that will not only shatter his career high of 50 that was set in 2009, but the franchise record of 51 which was set by Cliff Stoudt in 1983.
At the conclusion of the 2011 season, the Steelers decided to move on from offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. When he addressed the media in January of 2012, team president Art Rooney II talked to the media about how Roethlisberger needs to take fewer sacks as he enters his 30's.
"I'm not sure if I'd say change his style of play," said Rooney. "He may need to tweak it a little bit, but Ben is Ben, and you wouldn't want to try to convince him to completely change his game. A lot of what he does is the reason he is successful. On the other side of the coin, he is turning 30, and we do need him to stay healthy, and taking fewer sacks would probably help that equation."
Last season, under then-new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, Roethlisberger was sacked just 13 times through the first seven games. In the ninth game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs, however, Roethlisberger was sacked by linebacker Justin Houston and he suffered an injury that would keep him sidelined for the next three weeks as a result.
Now that the Steelers offensive line is back it total disarray following the ankle injury suffered Sunday in the loss to the Oakland Raiders by right guard David DeCastro, one can't help but think that Roethlisberger will be doing good to not get sacked three times a game or more moving forward. And, judging by his style of play this season, Roethlisberger hasn't tweaked his game one iota. It of course hasn't helped that the Steelers have been behind in all but one game this season.
I wonder what Rooney thinks now about running Arians out of town in favor of Haley, as Roethlisberger not only has a chance to break his own sack record, but his single-season loss record as well.
You know what they say, records are meant to be broken.
Roethlisberger Stats Through Steelers First Seven Games 2004-2013