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Ben Roethlisberger eyes first 16-game season since '08

Don't look now, but Ben Roethlisberger is on pace to play 16 games in a season for just the second time in his 10-year NFL career. (Knocks on wood.)

"I'm just trying to play this game, this snap," Roethlisberger said, per the Beaver County Times. "This is a physical game that we've seen every week. ... I'm going to give it everything I have on every play. If that leads to me playing every play, then we'll talk about it after the season what it felt like."

Whether it's been injury or suspension, Big Ben hasn't made it through an entire season under center since 2008. Last year, his rib injury short-circuited the Steelers' season.

This year, Roethlisberger has had one of the best statistical seasons of his All-Pro career, carrying the Steelers despite an offensive line that has struggled at times and depth questions in the receiving corps.

When the Steelers visit the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Roethlisberger is likely to breach the 4,000-yard mark for just the third time in his career.

With an 0-4 start, the Steelers' season nearly was over before it even began. Since its Week 5 bye, Pittsburgh is 6-4, mostly thanks to Roethlisberger's superb play.

The banged-up offensive line has improved as the season has progressed, and the play of rookie running back Le'Veon Bell has helped offensive continuity.

Last season it appeared Big Ben was going through constant Bruce Arians-withdrawal. However, this season offensive coordinator Todd Haley's quick-pass system has helped Roethlisberger remain healthy while still putting up productive numbers.

Big Ben's frustration about the offense has calmed. Although, no one in the organization denied there could be changes to the coaching staff this offseason.

Ultimately, the Steelers likely will miss the playoffs, and those early season defeats -- including the kicking debacle in Oakland -- will be to blame. But Roethlisberger's play over the second half of the season might give pause to any plans to scrap the current offense.

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