OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Word quickly got back to the Baltimore Ravens locker room that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shouldered the blame for the offense not playing up to expectations.
"Oh, Ben," linebacker Terrell Suggs said with a sigh. "He is setting us up. He is playing mind games. ... Tell Ben I am on to his tricks. I know what he is doing. I am not going to let him fool me with trickery and Jedi mind tricks."
Before the Big Ben Kenobi memes start popping up, the Steelers are on pace for their fewest offensive yards of the 14-year Roethlisberger era. Roethlisberger ranks 12th this season with 741 yards passing, and he is 11th with a 93.8 passer rating.
But it should be noted that Roethlisberger has thrown his fewest touchdown passes and passing yards in September. Last year, he threw six touchdowns and four interceptions with a 83.2 passer rating in the first three games. He then totaled 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions with a 99.1 rating in his final 11 games.
"I'll be like, ‘Yes, you're just saying that to soften me up,'" safety Eric Weddle said. "They start out a little slow in the beginning of the year, but they're fine. They have weapons everywhere, matchups. So, we expect them to play great, and we have to play an amazing game as a team for us to get this win."
Roethlisberger is surrounded by one of the top running backs (Le'Veon Bell) and and wide receivers (Antonio Brown). He plays behind what many consider to be a top-five offensive line.
But it's been Baltimore that apparently has gotten into the mind of Roethlisberger, who has lost his last five trips to Baltimore. During that skid at M&T Bank Stadium, he has thrown four touchdowns while getting picked off five times.
His last win at M&T Bank Stadium came in December of 2010. The last Steelers quarterback to win in Baltimore was actually Charlie Batch in 2012.
"It's a tough environment," Roethlisberger said. "The crowd is loud and they really feed off that. Silent count. They can't really get off the snap of the ball. Create some issues. Get you behind the chains, force you to pass it and then throw some different blitzes at you. Their rushers and coverage guys just create a lot of tough situations for you."