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Big Ben breakout coming? He might 'throw for 500'

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In four games so far this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) have had an 11-catch, 182-yard game and a 10-catch, 110-yard game from Antonio Brown and a 35-carry, 144-yard, two-touchdown performance from Le'Veon Bell.

And yet, in the naval-gazing, what about my fantasy team world in which we live, the next obvious question becomes: Well, what about Ben Roethlisberger?

"Who's to say?" Steelers guard Ramon Foster told TribLive.com when asked if Roethlisberger's sub-300 passing yard games are the new normal in Pittsburgh. "Ben might come out and throw for 500 next week."

When I think about Roethlisberger's numbers this year (263 yards, two touchdowns, one interception; 243 yards, two touchdowns; 235 yards, one touchdown; 216 yards, one touchdown, one interception) I think about plays like the one offensive coordinator Todd Haley dialed up to start their Week 3 matchup against the Bears.

On first-and-10, Roethlisberger was in an empty backfield. Antonio Brown ran what amounted to a 10-yard comeback route which locked in two Bears defenders and gave Martavis Bryant a leg up on an out-of-position safety. With only green space in front of Bryant, Roethlisberger chucked a beautiful ball that hit Bryant in stride and bounced off his fingertips. On Sunday against the Ravens on another Bryant go route, Roethlisberger overthrew Bryant by about two yards in the end zone.

I also think about last week's game against the Ravens when Roethlisberger, on the team's first drive, had to flick a ball to Bell amid a cornerback blitz that left him cut down at the knees after just two seconds post-snap. The Steelers still got a first down.

The point is that there doesn't seem to be any decline in Roethlisberger's game. There is such a fine line between a 260-yard passing game and a 320-yard game. He still reacts quickly. He still takes his shots (Pittsburgh has two receivers, Brown and Bryant, in the top three in air yards, a metric that helps measure downfield proficiency in an offense). Just because some of them haven't gotten home over four weeks when the team wins three games doesn't mean there's a cause for concern.

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