At 8-4 and with 3 games left to go, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has already clinched a winning record. In a typical Roethlisberger season that has included a fair share of yardage, touchdowns and interceptions, there is one notable absence – a lack of game winning drives. Roethlisberger, ranked 8th all-time in career game winning drives has zero this season, a very unusual feat for a quarterback with a winning record.
A quarterback obtaining a winning record with no game winning drives is a feat that has only been done four times in the last 20 years.
If the Steelers make the post season and Roethlisberger has still not recorded a game winning drive, he will join Troy Aikman and Brett Favre as the only playoff quarterbacks with no game winning drives in a single regular season in the last 20 years. Not bad company considering that Favre’s Packers reached the Super Bowl in 1997.
Does this mean Roethlisberger is headed for another Super Bowl run? No, not necessarily. Does it mean that Roethlisberger has lost his clutch killer instinct? Definitely not. The reason behind Roethlisberger’s lack of game winning drives comes down to a lack of opportunity and his team’s progression.
Zero is just an anomaly in this case. If the Steelers defense holds on for 43 more seconds against the Dallas Cowboys, then Roethlisberger’s lone game winning drive opportunity is successful and this topic is never talked about. The Steelers also have not been in an opportunity for a game winning drive much this season, as almost all their games have either seen them hold a favorable lead or trail significantly.
While the NFL would like to show you Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford to convince you that game winning drives are the making of a good quarterback, this is not the whole equation but just a small piece. A big piece of this equation is winning, and even with zero game winning drives to his name, Roethlisberger is still finding ways to win.