“I’m a guy who never wants to have a losing season. Eight gets you a non-losing season. We got nine, and we’re going for 10 now.” — Ben.
From the AP tonight:
The Pittsburgh Steelers are no longer stuck on eight wins.
Ben Roethlisberger made sure of that.
Roethlisberger threw for 360 yards, pushing his season total to a career high, and capped his performance with a third-down pass to Heath Miller that clinched the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt
Ben Roethlisberger broke his own Steelers single-season passing record with 4,344 yards. #PITvsATL
William Gay scored off an interception return for the Steelers (9-5), who remained a half-game behind Cincinnati in the AFC North with their second straight win. The Bengals stayed on top of the division by routing Cleveland 30-0.
“We’re not a perfect group by any stretch,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, “but we’re a group that will fight to the end together.”
With Roethlisberger, they always seem to have a fighting chance.
He’s on a mission to get Pittsburgh back to the playoffs after they missed the last two years, going 8-8 each time. This was his third straight game with more than 300 yards passing, and eighth of the season.
Pittsburgh led 13-0 after Gay picked off Matt Ryan’s pass over the middle on the first play of the second quarter, returning it for a 52-yard TD. The Steelers extended the lead to 27-13 with Le’Veon Bell’s second touchdown, a 13-yard run in the opening minute of the fourth period.
The Falcons made a game of it, pulling within a touchdown on Ryan’s 4-yard pass to Roddy White.
But the Steelers wrapped up the victory by running the final 4:34 off the clock. They converted twice on third down, the clincher coming when Roethlisberger found Miller all alone for a 25-yard completion on third-and-1 from the Atlanta 39.
Roethlisberger completed 27 of 35 and increased his season total to 4,415 yards, surpassing his previous franchise record of 4,328 from 2009 with two games to go. Bell also scored on a 1-yard run, but fell short of becoming the first player in NFL history with four straight 200-yard games in total yardage.
You can read more here.
You can watch Ben’s post-game interview (video) here.
And you can enjoy a few photos from the game here.