American Football: Roethlisberger reels as Pittsburgh slide
Tuesday 31 October 2006
Nine months ago the Pittsburgh Steelers were celebrating winning the fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history, under the guidance of Ben Roethlisberger who, at 23 years old, was the youngest quarterback ever to triumph in the big game.
Today, with less than half the 2006 season completed, the Steelers stand on the brink of elimination following their 20-13 defeat to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Roethlisberger was the architect of his side's doom. He threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, as his, and his team's, season continues its downward spiral.
Since the heady night of Super Bowl XL in February, little has gone right for Roethlisberger. In the summer, he was involved in an accident on his motorbike while not wearing a helmet. In September he underwent an emergency appendectomy. Last week concussion forced him out of the game against Atlanta.
In the six games he has played this season, he has managed five touchdowns against 11 interceptions. After the defeat in Oakland, the player blamed himself for his side's struggles. "I'm embarrassed," he said. "I'm letting the whole team down... In my wildest dreams I didn't think I'd be playing this bad."
Roethlisberger is his own harshest critic and there are other causes for the Steelers' malaise. But unless he can quickly regain his former poise, Pittsburgh seem destined for a season of bitter disappointment.
Latest in Sport
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
Which celebrities were ringside in Las Vegas to watch Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao?
- 5 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...