We don’t know how much longer Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might continue to play. The 14-year veteran made clear last offseason that he is no longer taking a broad view of his career, and simply living one season at a time. Though I have a strong inclination that he will play beyond this postseason, the reality is that it could be his last.
And as he does so, he has the opportunity to continue to climb up the all-time ranks in postseason play. He is likely, for example, to join a rather exclusive list of quarterbacks who have thrown for 5000 yards in the playoffs in their career. There are already few who have won more games.
Let’s start with the latter. Roethlisberger has added three postseason victories to his career accomplishments over the past two years. That has brought him up to 13 all-time, which is tied with Brett Favre.
Only five quarterbacks have won more games than Roethlisberger has in the postseason, and with a win on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, that number would drop down to two. His 14th postseason victory would tie him with Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, and Peyton Manning for the third-most all-time.
The only two quarterbacks to post more wins in the postseason are Joe Montana, with 16, and Tom Brady, who has created a wide berth for himself with 25. That is part of the natural process when you reach the Super Bowl an unprecedented seven times and win five of them—also a record.
In 20 postseason games, Roethlisberger has accumulated 4787 yards through the air, which stands as the sixth-most in playoff history. The only five players with more are the five named above outside of Bradshaw, who ranks 13th.
If he throws for 213 yards against the Jaguars, he will pass Elway in the process while becoming the fifth player to cross the 5000-yard passing threshold. Yet he is nearly 1000 yards shy of Montana for fourth place, so he still has his work cut out for him. Brady has over 9000 passing yards, comfortably the most all-time.
Roethlisberger’s first completed pass in Sunday’s game will also break a tie with Dan Marino for sole possession of fifth place in the completed passes column, at 385. Next on the list would be Montana’s 460, and then Favre at 481. He also needs 34 attempts to pass Elway for the sixth-most.
Where he could really pick things up is in scoring. His 25 touchdown passes in 20 career games only ranks as the 11th-most, tied with Joe Flacco. He needs five to tie Bradshaw for the eighth-most. Marino’s 32 is sixth-most, while the top four all have 40 or more.
Roethlisberger also ranks unfavorably for interceptions, as his 23 are the seventh-most in postseason history, and his 84.3 quarterback rating is just the 25th-highest. His 49 times sacked are also second only to Brady’s 61. While his has the fifth-most game-winning drives in the postseason, he ranks low in yards per game and yards per pass attempt, as well as completion percentage.
These numbers are courtesy of the ever-resourceful Pro Football Reference.