Throughout the Thursday Night Football loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took a number of significant body blows in the pocket behind a porous offensive line.
It’s hard to argue against that game against the Vikings being the one in which Roethlisberger took the worst beating of the season physically.
We’ve seen Roethlisberger take a number of shots this season behind a rebuilt offensive line, but none were arguably bigger than the blindside hit he took from Vikings’ All-Pro safety Harrison Smith on a blitz, as the veteran quarterback was rocked unexpectedly.
Still though, Roethlisberger did what he’s done time and time again throughout his remarkable Hall of Fame career: he rose off the mat and led the Steelers on a remarkable comeback attempt that came up painfully short on the final play of the game.
Down the stretch with the Steelers seemingly out of it, Roethlisberger rose to the occasion, willing the Steelers back into the game, showing he still has some juice left in him at 39 years old. The display down the stretch against the Vikings was nothing new for Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin, who spoke about it during his weekly show, the Mike Tomlin Show presented by 84 Lumber with host Bob Pompeani Saturday morning.
“There’s a toughness about him. That is what it is,” Tomlin said regarding Roethlisberger’s performance down the stretch against the Vikings, according to video via the Steelers’ official YouTube page. “I’ve witnessed it so long that, you know, I’m never surprised by it. As a matter of fact, I expect it. But it doesn’t mean it’s not appreciated.
“He’s a guy that’s at his best in those, in those waining moments. He’s a guy that runs to those confrontations as opposed to away from them. I think it’s something that’s defined him throughout his career, and probably something that’s part of his DNA, whether we’re talking about football or any other form of competitive endeavor.”
That’s exactly who Roethlisberger has been throughout his entire career. When everyone seems to count him or the Steelers out, there he is rising to the occasion, willing the black and gold back from the brink.
Ironically, though the comeback attempt came up just short, the Steelers now find their season on the brink. Does Roethlisberger have a few more throwback performances left in him at 39 years of age?
Don’t count him out just yet.