Super Bowls, shoelace tackles and so much more. Big Ben has provided plenty of jaw-dropping moments in his career. — Jarrett Bailey.
Mr. Bailey’s list at SI.com:
Over the last two decades, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has given us a lot to marvel at.
Whether it’s a throw that was fit into the tightest of windows, extending the play for a large gain, or the two Super Bowl rings, there have been a large number of notable Big Ben moments. Trying to break it down into the ten best was a chore, but here are the ten best moments of Ben Roethlisberger’s career.
10. 3rd and 18 scramble vs. Bills: 2010
This was a crucial moment in the game and vintage Ben Roethlisberger. On 3rd and 18, with just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a tied game in Orchard Park, Roethlisberger broke away from a sack and sprinted to his right, where there were no Bills defenders. Roethlisberger dove forward for a gain of 19 and a Pittsburgh first down. The Steelers would get a field goal to take a 16-13 lead before the Bills tied the game to send it to overtime. Shaun Suisham would win the game for Pittsburgh with a 41-yard field goal.
9. Touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes vs. Baltimore: 2008
The first of two crucial late-game touchdowns on the season for Holmes came in Week 15 in Baltimore with the AFC North on the line. Trailing 9-6 with 40 seconds left, Ben Roethlisberger scrambled to his left, raced back to his right before finding Santonio Holmes in the middle of the field, catching the ball just inside the goal line for the touchdown. The Steelers beat Baltimore 13-9 and secured the AFC North title.
8. Comeback Win vs. Broncos: 2015
The Steelers entered halftime down 27-13 to the Brock Osweiler-led Denver Broncos, who also fielded the best defense in the NFL that season. Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers to score 21 unanswered points in the second half, throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers completed the comeback to beat Denver. This was also a huge game for Antonio Brown, as he hauled in 16 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
7. Game-Winning Touchdown pass to Mike Wallace vs. Packers: 2009
The Steelers had started off 2009 on a hot streak, going 6-2 in their first eight games. They then went on to lose five straight games and fall to 6-7 before the Packers came to Heinz Field. In the first career 500 yard game for Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers pulled off a last-second victory with a Big Ben to Mike Wallace touchdown at the gun.
6. Deep Throw to Antonio Brown: 2011 AFC Championship Game
This throw was as good as it got when the Steelers needed it most. On 3rd and 19, with less than two minutes remaining, Antonio Brown broke behind Ravens defensive back Ladarius Webb when Roethlisberger uncorked an absolute missile. Brown hauled in the 58-yard reception inside the Ravens’ five-yard line, and the Steelers would score shortly after and secure a 31-24 win over Baltimore and advance to their third Super Bowl in six years.
5. Winning Super Bowl XL: 2006
It is a bit odd putting a Super Bowl win at only No. 5 on the list, but the one thing keeping this from being higher is that Roethlisberger didn’t play particularly well. He finished the game 9-21 for 123 yards and two interceptions. He did rush for the first touchdown of the game, but the Steelers’ defense is what ultimately reigned supreme and guided them to the win. That said, Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback in history to win a Super Bowl in just his second season at age 23.
4. 12 Touchdowns in Two Games: 2014
The absurdity of this is still almost unfathomable. Ben Roethlisberger had never thrown more than five touchdowns in a game prior to Week 8 in 2014. In the late October game in Heinz Field against the Colts, Roethlisberger threw for 522 yards and six touchdowns as the Steelers beat the Colts, 51-34. The next week on Sunday Night Football, the Steelers hosted the Ravens, where Roethlisberger threw for 340 yards and six touchdowns in Pittsburgh’s 43-23 win over Baltimore. Big Ben became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw six touchdowns in back-to-back games, and he did it while throwing no interceptions.
3. Winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: 2004
It was completely unexpected, but Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie season was one of the best in NFL history. After a Tommy Maddox injury thrusted Roethlisberger into action in Week 2 against Baltimore, the Steelers rallied behind the rookie signal caller and just kept winning. Following the Week 2 loss, the Steelers wouldn’t lose another regular season game all season, going 15-1. In 13 starts, Roethlisberger went 13-0 while breaking the rookie record for passer rating (98.1) and throwing 17 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Roethlisberger would lead Pittsburgh to a win in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, as well, over the Jets before losing his first game against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
2. Shoestring Tackle on Nick Harper: 2006 AFC Divisional Round
In the waning minutes of the 2005 AFC Divisional Round, the Steelers were ready to punch in a touchdown that would have, for all intents and purposes, ended the game. Instead, Jerome Bettis fumbled the ball, and Nick Harper picked the ball up and began running. Luckily for Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger began running downfield as soon as the fumble hit the ground, allowing him to make the shoestring tackle on the Colts defensive back.
If not for the tackle that Ben Roethlisberger made on Nick Harper following Jerome Bettis’ fumble at the goal line, there is a good chance that both Jerome Bettis and Bill Cowher retire without Super Bowl rings, and that Big Ben only has one.
1. Touchdown Pass to Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII: 2009
We all knew what number one was going to be, but what else could it be? This is not only the quintessential Ben Roethlisberger play but the quintessential Ben Roethlisberger drive. Down by one possession late in the fourth quarter, and Ben marches them down the field inside the five. After a pass went through the hands of Holmes in the back of the end zone, the quarterback and wide receiver duo delivered one of the greatest plays in NFL history. How Roethlisberger fit the ball in that small window over three defenders, or how Holmes touched his toes in the back corner while coming down with the ball, will always feel like a one-in-a-million play. Minutes later, Roethlisberger won his second Lombardi trophy.
What do you think of Mr. Bailey’s Top 10? Do you agree?