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Tomlin, Roethlisberger Move Into 2nd Place In All-Time Wins Among QB-HC Duos In NFL History

While he may not have quite yet played his last game, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has played his last regular-season game, and it proved to be a historic one. With the Steelers’ come-from-behind victory in overtime, Roethlisberger and head coach Mike Tomlin moved into second place all-time for the most wins in NFL history between a head coach and quarterback duo.

The two of them entered the game in a tie with Sean Payton and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, the latter of whom retired prior to the start of this season, ending his run with the Saints with 135 wins with Payton. The win in Baltimore was number 136 for Tomlin and Roethlisberger together.

The only duo to record more wins in NFL history is the obvious—Tom Brady and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, who set the bar so high that it will likely never be reached. They put up an astonishing 219 wins together between the 2001 and 2019 seasons, managing only 64 losses in that time in 283 starts together.

Everybody should understand at this point that the Brady-Belichick era in New England will be the exception to everything that we talk about in terms of achievement at the highest level in modern NFL history. It’s very unlikely that anybody else ever comes close to doing what they did for two decades.

Roethlisberger and Tomlin would be up there among the most notable contenders, though, as attested to by the fact that they put up more wins with one another than anybody else outside of the Brady and Belichick era in New England.

Of course the problem is that they have only put up eight wins in the postseason, three of them coming in 2008, when they made their lone Super Bowl run. Two more game in 2010 when they reached the championship, but came up short. One win in 2015 and two in 2016 to reach the conference finals make up the entirety of the postseason legacy of the Tomlin-Roethlisberger era—wins in only four out of 15 seasons together.

That is, of course, unless they can pull off what I’m imagining would be among the largest upsets in NFL postseason history by beating the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, who are favored by nearly a couple of touchdowns.

If they do end up losing, they will have lost their last four postseason games, which would be a new franchise record. It would also mark the fifth consecutive season in which they failed to win a postseason game, which would be the first time in team history since the merger. But we’ll (hopefully not) be talking about that next week.

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