If you turn on the national media and listen to the “experts” ramble on about how Ben Roethlisberger is the weak link in on the Pittsburgh Steelers offense, you might just miss that he is not just carving out his place among the greatest quarterbacks in all-time NFL lore, but he is also quietly currently moving up a list of to rank in the top 20 all-time for a 3rd time.
With two touchdown passes to Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth on Monday Night Football, Roethlisberger advanced his consecutive games with a TD pass to 23. This currently has him sitting at a tie for 24th all-time. When Patrick Mahomes failed to tally a TD pass in Week 7, his streak of 31 games ended, thus making Roethlisberger’s the longest active streak in the NFL.
Roethlisberger can match his second highest streak of 26 consecutive games (18th all-time) vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in three weeks. That streak ended in the Week 1 matchup vs. the New England Patriots, the game before his elbow required surgery. One cannot help but wonder if the elbow did not suffer damage, could Roethlisberger have continued and combined these two consecutive streaks together – which at 49 would put him only 5 shy of the all-time record held by Drew Brees.
Roethlisberger’s career best of consecutive games with a TD is 30 games, good for 18th all-time and wouldn’t it be fitting for him to eclipse Mahomes by the very year that he was surpassed, with potentially reaching 31 vs. the Cleveland Browns and passing him vs. the Baltimore Ravens.
When talking about the best ever QBs to have the ball when you need a 4th quarter comeback or game winning drive, Roethlisberger’s name is rarely mentioned. However, that injustice deserves more recognition. With the drive to lead the Steelers back against the Chicago Bears on MNF, Roethlisberger tied Tom Brady with his 50th game winning drive (4th all-time) and his 38th 4th quarter comeback (3rd all-time).
While Big Ben may not be able to move around the pocket and launch it like he once did, he certainly can make the heady play and not succumb to pressure in those final two minutes of a game and his four game-winning drives is tied for first on the season in 2021. If you thought the game was over when the Bears took a late 1-point lead with 1:47, you should take a second to realize just how clutch Ben has been his entire career. He even commented on how the Bears “left him too much time.” He looked so in his element and even having fun, it’s almost impossible to believe he won’t give the Steelers a fighting chance in a close game.
While it doesn’t feel like Big Ben will have another 500-yard passing game anytime soon as he has only 1,986 yards (in large part due to the heavy reliance on Najee Harris), he is well on pace to secure #5 all-time in passing yards, needing only 1,108 yards to surpass Philip Rivers and he is currently on pace to do so against the Baltimore Ravens in Heinz Field, something that would garner special recognition from a grateful Steeler Nation crowd in Pittsburgh.
While the most important milestone would be that elusive 3rd Super Bowl, don’t count it out because the Steelers are winning ugly. Often all it takes is a great defensive effort and timely passing to get it done, particularly in an AFC that has no dominant team at the forefront. There’s been more than a few years in which the only thing preventing the Steelers from the Super Bowl was timely QB play, and Big Ben still certainly brings it.