5. Father time is catching up with Ben Roethlisberger.
Big Ben has been known for this superior durability but the game may be starting to catch up with him. Injuries have cut into his past two seasons.
Last season marked the first time that Roethlisberger has thrown double digit interceptions in consecutive seasons since 2009. This is notable considering he only started 11 games in 2015 and missed two games last season.
The 35-year-old veteran has been mulling retirement. There was talk that Big Ben may have retired before this upcoming season, yet he decided to give it another go as the Steelers look to win one more Super Bowl before he takes his last snap.
Roethlisberger has continued to be consistently productive when he is on the field. However, the injuries and interceptions are signs that a decline may be in the cards in the near future.
Roethlisberger may not be ready to give up the AFC North crown just yet, but time is certainly working against him. Just seven quarterbacks in NFL history have started a game for their respective teams over the age of of 35. Only three have won, but the list is a who’s who of quarterback royalty: John Elway, and Tom Brady have done it twice, Peyton Manning snagged one more ring with Broncos at age 39, while Cowboys’ field general Roger Staubach went 1-1 in Super Bowls after turning 35.
Not everyone is Tom Brady, and the Browns have dedicated heavy resources in their last two drafts to upgrading the defense, especially on the defensive line where Myles Garrett is riding one of the greatest hype machines an NFL rookie has ever known.
With up and comers such as Emmanuel Ogbah, Danny Shelton, Jabrill Peppers and established stars such as Jamie Collins and Joe Haden, Big Ben’s reign may not be over soon, but time is running out.