His final two regular season starts for the Pittsburgh Steelers certainly weren’t pretty, but 18-year quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was able to help lead the black and gold to the most important thing in Weeks 17 and 18: Wins.
QB wins certainly aren’t a stat to measure anyone by in today’s game, but it’s quite puzzling to see Roethlisberger’s final season ranking in NFL.com’s QB Index, which is compiled by NFL.com Around the NFL Editor Gregg Rosenthal.
The veteran quarterback closed out the 16-13 overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens to extend the Steelers’ season in style as he completed 19-of-25 passes in the fourth quarter and overtime for 149 yards and a touchdown to Chase Claypool late in the fourth quarter, giving the Steelers the late lead. Roethlisberger also competed a 4th and 8 pass to Ray-Ray McCloud in overtime and capped off his 53rd game-winning drive in style.
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) January 9, 2022
Despite that strong close to the regular season, Roethlisberger dropped four spots from his Week 18 ranking the QB Index to his final season ranking of No. 26 overall, according to Rosenthal’s piece, placing him behind the likes of Detroit’s Jared Goff, Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield, and New York Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones.
“Roethlisberger closed his AFC North career with wins to knock the Browns and Ravens out of the playoffs,” Rosenthal writes. “…This capped the worst individual regular season of Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame career. He took more sacks than he had since 2013 and fumbled the ball more than in any year since 2008. The final four games were also the worst stretch of this worst season, yet the Steelers still won three of those games. He came into the league not getting much credit for his team’s success and left the same way — but in between, he was a top-five quarterback a whole lot more than you think.”
See what I was saying?
Yes, Roethlisberger had a rough stretch to close the season, but that performance in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Ravens was classic Big Ben in the twilight of his career, turning it on late in a must-win game to carve up the Ravens’ secondary and propel the Steelers to a win.
Rosenthal nailed it late in his paragraph about Roethlisberger saying he came into the league without much credit and is going out the same way. Life comes full circle in the NFL, I suppose.