From the fans to the front office, many have been playing a guessing game on Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement for a number of years now. From contemplating retirement a few years ago to declaring that he is nowhere near finished a year later, the franchise quarterback has certainly kept everyone on their toes. The guessing game became a lot easier when the Pittsburgh Steelers gave Roethlisberger, who was in his last year under contract, a two-year contract extension, meaning that the quarterback will be under center for at least three more seasons.
The obvious good news is that his extension means that the Steelers will have Roethlisberger’s services for three more seasons, giving them three more opportunities to hoist the Lombardi trophy once more. It is safe to say that as long as the now 37-year old quarterback is on the field, the Steelers will be competitive and continue to have Super Bowl aspirations. While Roethlisberger is likely more concerned with adding to his two Super Bowl rings, his contract extension also means that there are a few other accolades he can hit as well.
Roethlisberger already owns just about every Steelers’ franchise record, only trailing Terry Bradshaw in career interceptions, though that is one record the quarterback likely does not want to hold. With every franchise record wrapped up, there are two specific NFL records that Roethlisberger can hit. Both of these records would speak volumes to the overall consistency that the Steelers’ franchise quarterback has brought to the franchise and to the field.
The Steelers’ quarterback has thrown for at least 200 yards and at least one touchdown in 26 consecutive games, dating back to October 15 2017. Roethlisberger is currently the NFL’s active leader in this department with a good distance between him and Patrick Mahomes, his next closest competitor, who has accomplished the feat in 11 consecutive games. The distance between Roethlisberger and the NFL record is much closer though as he only trails Drew Brees, who has the longest streak in NFL history with 29 consecutive games with at least 200 passing yards and at least one touchdown, which he set from December 2013 to November 2015.
It will not be easy for Roethlisberger to break Brees’ record as he has a handful of tough dates to begin the 2019 season. First, a trip to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots awaits, then a tough game against the Seattle Seahawks at home before embarking on a dreaded road trip to the west coast to take on the San Francisco 49ers. Should Roethlisberger come out of that three-game stretch with the streak intact, he will have the opportunity to break the NFL record at home against the Cincinnati Bengals in week four.
When it comes to strictly throwing for at least 200 yards, Roethlisberger is also the NFL’s active leader with 36 consecutive games of at least 200 passing yards. Though he is much further away from the NFL record in this category.
Roethlisberger is still quite behind Matt Ryan but his contract extension makes it very possible that he can one day surpass him. The Steelers’ quarterback will be in his second year of his deal if he does surpass Ryan though he will not need to wait as long to leapfrog the others ahead of him. Roethlisberger can move into third all time this season and then pass Brees for second all time early in the 2020 season before finally passing Ryan towards the final quarter of the 2020 season.
While the path for the veteran quarterback to notch a few more accolades under his belt may seem straight forward and clear, the journey will obviously be much tougher. While it would be great to see Roethlisberger add more personal accolades to his resume, it goes without saying that securing another Super Bowl will be the main goal for the 37-year old quarterback. Luckily, with his latest contract extension, he will have the chance to chase both.