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NFL Player Props: Big Ben to ding one more time...

Ben Roethlisberger has the offensive play-makers around him to produce in 2021
Ben Roethlisberger has the offensive play-makers around him to produce in 2021
By Neil Monnery

The Sportsbooks have set the over/under number for Ben Roethlisberger's passing yards at 4000.5 for the 2021 season. Neil Monnery thinks that only health can stop him attaining that mark...

A lot of the talk in Pittsburgh hasn’t been about how well Ben Roethlisberger will do in 2021 but whether this will be his final year in the league. The 39 year-old saw a downturn in numbers in 2020 following a 2019 campaign where he only played in the first two games before being placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season with a right elbow injury.

The big question shouldn’t be about 2022 and beyond but about 2021. Pittsburgh have tremendous skill and depth at the wide receiver position so all Big Ben has to do is stay up right and find his targets. They know both how to get open and to win contested catches.

Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool would go toe to toe with most receiving trio’s out there. When the likes of Ray-Ray McCloud and James Washington are not starters, it says an awful lot. Even the Tight End position has the talented Eric Ebron and the very productive rookie out of Penn State in Pat Friermuth. So Roethlisberger certain;ly shouldn’t have any issues with who he’s getting the ball to.

What the 2021 season boils down to is whether a) Big Ben can stay healthy and b) how quickly he meshes with new Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada. The two know each other as the latter was the QB coach in Pittsburgh last year before his promotion to the OC gig.

Canada has never called plays at the NFL level but has a wealth of experience in the college game where his offenses were generally seen as better than the sum of their parts - although LSU fans might disagree with this.

So I think the two will gel well enough so it all comes down to health and that is the big variable where at this point we just have no idea. Roethlisberger has been a warrior throughout his career in Pittsburgh and has taken more hits than most - if not all - of his superstar QB counterparts around the league. Still even at 39 his arm strength doesn’t seem to be eroding and if he can play all 17 games, I’d be very surprised if he falls short of his 4,000.5 passing yard over/under number.

He has the talent and he has the players around him. I’ll lean towards saying he does stay healthy and off injured reserve and that means I’m taking the over.

Pick: Over on the Ben Roethlisberger passing yards market (4000.5 yards) at -106.

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