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Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports released his quarterback rankings by tiers last week and he had Ben Roethlisberger ranked as a tier 6 quarterback and under the "Good Luck" category with quarterbacks Daniel Jones of the Giants, Sam Darnold of the Panthers and Andy Dalton of the Bears. Roethlisberger was below quarterbacks such as Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Jameis Winston and Teddy Bridgewater in La Canfora's rankings.
La Canfora, who is a Baltimore native has really never been a fan of Roethlisberger, but he has been even harsher on him the last few years.
"I could see the Steelers experimenting with a new QB by midseason," La Canfora wrote. "When you take that kind of paycut to stick around to try to go out on something other than the terms of that ugly playoff loss to the Browns, chances are things won't get much better. Offensive line looks shaky at best. Lack of mobility a big problem. I just don't see this going well and things have been trending down since 2019."
With La Canfora down on Roethlisberger, it comes as no surprise that he has the Steelers missing the playoffs in 2021.
"Every bit of empirical data and every hour of film review painted a very bleak picture of where this offense was headed with Ben Roethlisberger hanging on by a thread," La Canfora wrote. "Hard to see this ending well, and the offensive line is a shell of what it once was, too. This franchise has staved off a losing season in ways most could only dream of, but this league will eventually pull everyone down, and this roster is not good enough to overcome the shortcomings moving the ball downfield. I'm getting worried about all the tread on the defensive line as well."
La Canfora isn't the only analyst to have the Steelers missing the playoffs in 2021, as it's actually a common prediction. Former Steelers free safety and now ESPN analyst, Ryan Clark, has his former team missing the playoffs in 2021, likewise for Brooke Pryor who covers the Steelers for ESPN.
The Steelers have the toughest schedule in the league in 2021 based on their opponents' combined record of 155-115-2 (.574) in 2020. It includes 10 games against 2020 playoff teams, counting the Browns and Ravens twice. In addition, five of the Steelers' final six games of the year are against playoff teams from last season.
The brutal stretch of games begins on Dec 5. against the Ravens, followed by a meeting with the Vikings in Minnesota on a short week on Thursday Night Football. Then the final four games are against the Titans, at Chiefs, Browns on Monday Night Football, and at Baltimore against the Ravens to finish the regular season.