The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to score more than three points in their loss to the New England Patriots last night. It was their fewest points scored since Week Three of the 2016 season, when they were similarly blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles in Carson Wentz’s third start, 34-3.
It was also the first time since the stunningly poor 30-9 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week Five of the 2017 season, after which he infamously joked, upon prompting, “maybe I don’t have it anymore”. That was the last time in his career, 27 games ago, that he went without throwing a touchdown pass, which is pretty remarkable.
How remarkable? His 26 consecutive games having thrown a touchdown pass was the longest active streak in the NFL. Now that it’s broken, the longest active streak belongs to Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings, who has thrown a touchdown in 17 consecutive games.
This all came on the same night that Roethlisberger officially became the longest-tenured player in Steelers history, active for a game in his 16th season. Mike Webster, who still owns the record for most games played in team history, previously held the record for the 15 seasons that he spent here.
Obviously, it’s not how you want to begin your 16th season, nor how the front office, who just shelled out big money for two more years of this, was hoping to see him perform out of the gates. He completed 27 of 47 passes for 276 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, and most of that came in garbage time.
It’s true that his targets at times, particularly Donte Moncrief, didn’t exactly help him out by making the difficult catches with the Patriots in tight coverage throughout the night and contesting passes beyond the catch point, but he didn’t do his job last night. Even if Moncrief couldn’t hold on to one pass that was in the end zone.
It’s worth noting that the Patriots have won 14 consecutive games at home, which included a perfect 10- record between the regular season and two postseason games in 2018 as they advanced to and won the Super Bowl. But Roethlisberger has historically at least put up statistics while losing in Foxboro.
He put up 34 touchdowns himself in 2018, a career high and a franchise record. But a full 15 of those went to Antonio Brown, whose next game will be played in a Patriots uniform lining up across from Josh Gordon. Boy, that should be fun to see.