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As long as the Steelers have Big Ben, they have a shot

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Every year, pundits around the NFL try to underestimate the ability of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but as long as they have Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, they will be contenders.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

"The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't good anymore. They'll win eight games, nine tops. Look at their roster. Their defense isn't even a fraction of what it used to be, their offensive line is of the worst in the league, and they only have one good receiver."

This is what fans and critics around the NFL say prior to almost every season. Yet every year the Steelers manage to win at least nine games and every other year they still manage to reach the postseason.

Why is that? As these pundits said, if you look their roster, it really isn't that good. Well, that could only mean one thing. The one and only reason that the Pittsburgh Steelers are still a top tier team in the NFL is because of their quarterback.

Ben Roethlisberger has gotten hit around so much in his NFL career, that most guys that took that big of a toll on their bodies wouldn't have lasted longer than five or six years. Big Ben however, is playing in his 11th season, and he is putting up the best numbers of his career,

He owns a completion percentage of 68.4 and a passer rating of 105.6. If the season ended today, those would both be career-highs for him. He is also third in the NFL in passing yards with 2,380 , seventh in touchdowns with 16, and he has only thrown three interceptions.

It doesn't make any sense. How could an 11-year veteran that has been beaten up so much over the course of his career be playing at this level?

There is no question that Big Ben was born with a physical advantage. Taking him down to the turf is a large task for even the best and strongest defensive lineman. At 6-foot-5, 241 pounds, he stands as a giant among D-linemen.

Granted, you can't teach size, but if you're going to have it, then you might as well take advantage of it. That is something that Ben Roethlisberger has done in his career.

With that being said, the Baltimore Ravens will face a tough challenge this week against Ben and the Pittsburgh Steelers passing game. Without Jimmy Smith's presence on the field, the Ravens' secondary could easily get torn apart, but let's just hope that they are good enough to give the Ravens a chance in this one.