Steelers sendoff for Ben Roethlisberger was actually better than it looked
By Austin Lloyd
While a 42-21 Steelers loss never looks beautiful upon first glance, the game could have certainly gone worse for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Despite what any delusional Steelers fans preached about all week long, no one in their right minds saw a Pittsburgh victory coming against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night. And they were fortuitous not to, as they certainly didn’t get it.
Unlike their first matchup with the Steelers back in December, the Chiefs had a rather slow start in the wild card matchup last night, at one point even being down 7-0 in the second quarter after a T.J. Watt scoop-n-score.
Their lack of drive didn’t last much longer after that, though, as the halftime score saw a 21-7 tally in favor of Kansas City. That theme wouldn’t really change for the remainder of the night, as the board read 42-14 at a later moment.
However, while being blown out in a 1st-round exit isn’t what Steelers fans had been hoping for, the priority for many was that legendary QB Ben Roethlisberger go out with a bang. And statistically, it can certainly be argued that he did so.
Despite the matchup’s severe lack of competitiveness, Ben threw for over 200 yards, a pair of touchdowns (almost three) and no picks. For reference, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady had a similar stat line against a weaker opponent in the Philadelphia Eagles.
In other words, the final performance from an old man who can no longer hit a deep ball and has always had an interception problem could have gone a lot worse, regardless of how convincingly the team as a whole lost.
This goes without even mentioning that Roethlisberger locked up third place for career passing yards in the postseason during his final showing, now sitting behind only Peyton Manning and the aforementioned Tom Brady.
That accomplishment may sound cool, but it’s actually much more fitting than one might think. Those three names absolutely owned the AFC for around 20 years, as Ben made three Super Bowls, Manning made four, and Brady made nine (as a New England Patriot). So seeing that trio as the top three in such an admirable statistic is something that even Hollywood couldn’t replicate.
The goal here is not to downplay the severity of the Steelers losing as harshly as they did. Rather, it’s to say that Ben clearly went out giving it his all, and that’s really all that Pittsburgh fans could ask for on Sunday night. But no matter what, the run is over; the Steelers are off to Las Vegas, while Big Ben is off to Canton.