Much is made of the games in which Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plays on the road against two of his divisional opponents, the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. The league’s two Ohio-based teams have served as the feeding ground for some of the most dominant and lopsided contests in favor of one quarterback in NFL history.
With Sunday’s win in Cleveland, Roethlisberger has now defeated the Browns 24 times during his career. He has also defeated the Bengals exactly 24 times during his career in the regular season—and twice more in the postseason.
With Sunday’s victory, he became just the second quarterback in NFL history to record 24 or more victories against multiple opponents, and even if his name wasn’t in the headline, I’m sure you would have guessed that the first was Tom Brady.
As shown by Statmuse, Brady has the two highest win totals against a single opponent in NFL history, having defeated the Buffalo Bills 32 times and the New York Jets 29 times. Interestingly, he only beat the Miami Dolphins 23 times. Brett Favre’s 26 victories over the Detroit Lions stands third.
You may see some entries listing Roethlisberger with 25 wins over the Browns, but this is not actually the case. Cross-referencing with Stathead, it is clear that searches are pulling up the victory that the Steelers had against the Browns in 2015, during which Landry Jones started, and he dressed as an emergency option because he was dealing with an injury. Jones had to exit the game due to injury himself, and Roethlisberger helped Pittsburgh win, but he did not technically record a victory as the starter of record.
With the 24 wins against both the Browns and the Bengals in the regular season, and the two postseason victories against the Bengals, Roethlisberger has now defeated the Ohio teams a combined 50 times over the course of his 18-year career. For an Ohio native who excelled at the University of Miami (Ohio), that probably feels pretty good.
He has at least two more games against the Ohio teams this year, including one game in Cincinnati, and who knows, they may end up squaring off in the playoffs again. He did lose to the Browns in the Wildcard Round last season, despite putting up big numbers—including his interception total.
Of course, a lot of teams have beaten the Browns and Bengals since 2004. They have rarely been good during that timespan, so it’s not shocking that Roethlisberger piled on the wins. But this season and last has suggested that, perhaps, the tide is turning as he nears the end of his career.