Ben Roethlisberger

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Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben Big 33 trophy.jpg
Roethlisberger on June 16, 2012, presenting the Big 33 trophy to Ohio, who won 24-21 in overtime.
No. 7     Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1982-03-02) March 2, 1982 (age 32)
Place of birth: Lima, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 241 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school: Findlay (OH)
College: Miami (OH)
NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
Debuted in 2004 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • #7 jersey retired (Miami University Redhawks)
  • Most regular season wins in a season, rookie QB — 13 (2004)
  • First QB to start two Conference Championship games in first two seasons in the NFL (2004 & 2005)
  • Youngest starting QB ever to win the Super Bowl
  • Second-youngest quarterback to win two Super Bowls.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Leader
    (Career Wins, Passing Touchdowns, Pass Attempts, Pass Completions and Passing Yards)
  • Other Records and Awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
Percentage 63.3
TDINT 219–122
Passing yards 34,105
Passer rating 92.6
Stats at NFL.com

Benjamin Todd "Ben" Roethlisberger, Sr. (/ˈrɒθlɨsbɜrɡər/; born March 2, 1982), nicknamed "Big Ben," is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Steelers in the first round (11th overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football for Miami University.

Roethlisberger earned the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2004 and his first Pro Bowl selection in 2007. He became the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history, leading the Steelers, in only his second professional season, to a 21–10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL at the age of 23. Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a second Super Bowl title in four seasons as they defeated the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, 27–23, after completing a game-winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in the final 35 seconds.

Roethlisberger has been one of the most efficient passers in NFL history. He currently ranks 9th all-time in NFL passer rating (92.6), 5th in yards per attempt (8.06), and 11th in completion percentage (63.24%) among quarterbacks with a minimum of 1,500 career attempts. He has the fourth highest career winning percentage (.710) as a starter in the regular season among quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 starts.

Known for playing outside the pocket in what he calls "backyard football",[1] Roethlisberger grew up idolizing John Elway, and has often been compared to him.[2] Roethlisberger wears number 7 in Elway's honor.[3]

Off the field, Roethlisberger has been involved in high-profile incidents. He suffered a serious motorcycle accident in 2006[4][5][6] while operating without a motorcycle license.[7] Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in 2008[8][9][10] and in 2010.[11][12] While no charges were filed,[13][12][14][15] Steelers president Art Rooney II was "furious,"[16] and the latter allegation resulted in Roethlisberger's suspension from play under the NFL's personal conduct policy.[17][18] Roethlisberger also lost endorsement deals after the allegations.[19][20]

Early years

Roethlisberger was born in Lima, Ohio,[21] the son of Ida Jane (née Foust) and Kenneth Todd "Ken" Roethlisberger. His father is a former pitcher and quarterback at Georgia Tech.[22][23] He is of part Swiss descent; his surname, "Roethlisberger" (Swiss-German spelling: Röthlisberger), is of Swiss origin, with roots in the village of Geissbuehl Lauperswil, Switzerland.[24][25]

At Findlay High School in Findlay, Ohio, Roethlisberger was captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams. Roethlisberger did not play quarterback until his senior year, giving way to the coach's son, Ryan Hite. Instead, Roethlisberger played wide receiver because, as coach Cliff Hite explained to the Toledo Blade, "My son throwing to Ben was a better combination."[26] Hite told the Toledo Blade regarding the decision to start his son at quarterback over Roethlisberger: "I'm a nationally known knucklehead."[26]

College career

Roethlisberger's college number retired before 2007 Miami-BGSU game. Also in photo: Bob Hitchens (far left) and John Pont (2nd from the left)

Roethslisberger played college quarterback at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. At Miami, he got a chance to start as a redshirt freshman and started three years of Division I college football despite only a single year experience as a high school quarterback.[27] Roethlisberger holds every major passing record at the school and a number of passing records in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). He played just three years before joining the NFL, leaving school four college credits shy of graduating.[28]

As a redshirt freshman, Roethlisberger threw for over 3,100 yards. In 2002, he threw more than 3,200 yards, and in 2003, he threw more than 4,400 yards. In 2003, Roethlisberger led the Miami RedHawks to an unbeaten record in the MAC, a No. 10 ranking in the Associated Press poll and a 49-28 victory over Louisville in the 2003 GMAC Bowl.[27]

His number was retired by the RedHawks in 91st annual homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007, with festivities including the RedHawks football game against Bowling Green; Roethlisberger becoming only the third athlete in Miami football history to have his jersey number retired, joining John Pont and Bob Hitchens. It was the first time in 34 years Miami retired a football jersey number.[29][30]

College football statistics
  Passing Rushing
Season Team GP Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TDs Int YPA W L Att Yds TDs Avg
2001 Miami (OH) 12 241 381 63.3 3,105 21 2 8.1 120 189 3 1.6
2002 Miami (OH) 12 271 428 63.3 3,238 22 11 7.6 82 54 1 0.7
2003 Miami (OH) 14 342 495 69.1 4,486 37 10 9.1 67 111 3 1.7
Career 38 854 1304 65.5% 10,829 80 23 8.3 269 354 7 1.3

The Draft

The success of the 2003 Miami Redhawks led to the expectation that Roethlisberger would be drafted early. During the GMAC Bowl, commentators discussed some of his skills that would translate to success in the NFL.

At the combine, Roethlisberger scored a 25 on the Wonderlic.[31] Roethlisberger was one of the players invited to attend the draft along with others in the "Green Room" and was featured on the show "Hey Rookie Welcome to the NFL."

Quarterback class of 2004

Roethlisberger was one of four quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft along with Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, and J. P. Losman. Due to the trade between Manning and Rivers, Roethlisberger was the highest-drafted quarterback that year that played for the team that drafted him. Before Paul Tagliabue announced the selection of Roethlisberger, the phone call he received by Steelers head coach Bill Cowher was shown live on ESPN, confirming the team's selection before the official announcement.

Roethlisberger, Rivers, and Manning have been voted to the Pro Bowl since becoming starters, none have produced a season with a losing record (although each has had an 8-8 season), and Roethlisberger and Manning have each won two Super Bowls. They have been compared favorably to the Quarterback class of 1983, which included Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino, John Elway, and Jim Kelly.[32]

Professional career

Roethlisberger takes a snap against the Bengals in 2006.

Roethlisberger was selected 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. On August 4, 2004, he signed a six-year contract worth $22.26 million in salaries and bonuses, with an additional $17.73 million available via incentives. He was touted by then-Steelers coach Bill Cowher in a press conference as a franchise quarterback.[33]

On March 4, 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Roethlisberger agreed to an eight-year, $102 million contract.[34] Roethlisberger had two years left on his original that he signed after the draft. He has stated that he wants to retire as a Steeler.[35]

2004 season

Roethlisberger did not immediately step in as the starting quarterback for the Steelers. He was the No. 3 QB behind Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch. When Batch was injured in the preseason, however, Roethlisberger moved up to no. 2. Maddox started, and won, the season opener against the Raiders and started versus the Ravens. But after an ineffective outing and third-quarter injury to Maddox, Roethlisberger stepped in for his first NFL action. Despite spurring a mild comeback, the Steelers lost the game. Maddox's injury changed the Steelers' original plan for Roethlisberger, which was for him to sit on the bench or play sparingly during the first season or two in order to learn the team's system. Instead, he started the third game of the season.

As a rookie, he went 13-0 in the regular season (14–1 including playoffs) as a starting quarterback, helping the Steelers become the first AFC team to have 15 wins (2–1 under Maddox [first two and last game], 13–0 under Roethlisberger) in a single regular season, surpassing former Steeler Mike Kruczek for the record for the best start by a rookie (6-0) and exceeding the mark for total wins as a rookie, set by Chris Chandler and Joe Ferguson. On January 5, 2005, Roethlisberger was unanimously selected as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, the first quarterback in 34 years to be so honored.

One of Roethlisberger's biggest games was when he led the Steelers to a 34–20 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion and previously undefeated New England Patriots, ending their NFL-record 21-game winning streak. He completed 18 of 24 pass attempts for 196 yards, two TDs and no turnovers. The week after that game, the Steelers defeated the also previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles 27–3. Roethlisberger was 11 of 18 for 183 yards, with two TDs and one interception.

In his first nationally-televised game on Sunday Night Football, he led the Steelers to a 17–16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was near-perfect on the night, completing 14 of 17 passes for 226 yards and two TDs. Jeff Reed's 37-yard field goal in the final minute gave the Steelers and Roethlisberger their tenth straight win.

Two weeks later, Roethlisberger faced off against the New York Giants and the no. 1 overall pick of the 2004 draft, Eli Manning. Roethlisberger posted his first career 300-yard passing game, with 18 of 28 passes for 316 yards and a TD. He led his fifth game-winning drive of the season, capping a drive with a Jerome Bettis TD run for a 33–30 victory. Eli Manning threw an interception to seal the game for Pittsburgh.

In the divisional playoffs against the New York Jets, Roethlisberger threw two interceptions. One interception was returned for a touchdown, and the other was thrown with 2:03 left in the fourth quarter, which set up a potential game-winning field goal by Jets kicker Doug Brien. Brien missed the kick as time expired (his second missed kick in the last two minutes of the game), forcing the game into overtime. In overtime, Roethlisberger led the Steelers down the field and put them in position for the game-winning field goal, a 33-yard attempt that was made by Jeff Reed, sending the Steelers into the AFC Championship for the fourth time in 10 years.

On January 23, 2005 in the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger completed 14 of 24 pass attempts for 226 yards and two TDs, but he also threw three costly interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Rodney Harrison. The Steelers lost the game to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, by a score of 41–27.

2005 Super Bowl season

Roethlisberger signs autographs at Super Bowl XL media day.

In the 2005 regular season, the Steelers finished 11-5. After securing an AFC wild card spot en route to victory in the Super Bowl, the Steelers pulled off upsets at Indianapolis and Denver in the AFC playoffs in addition to wins over higher seeds Cincinnati and Seattle.

During the course of the regular 2005 season, Roethlisberger missed four games due to various knee injuries. The Steelers went 9-3 with Roethlisberger at quarterback and 2-2 without him. He led the league in Yards Per Attempt with an 8.90, and finished third in passer rating behind Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer with a 98.6.[36]

The Super Bowl run began on January 8, 2006 as Roethlisberger helped lead the Steelers to a playoff win over the Cincinnati Bengals—an AFC North rival that had beaten the Steelers by seven points in the regular season to win the division championship. The rematch featured two teams with identical records, having split their regular season series since each team won on the road. Early in the game on Carson Palmer's first throw, a tackle by former Steeler Kimo von Oelhoffen resulted in Palmer's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) being completely torn. The Bengals' backup quarterback, Jon Kitna, came in and led the Bengals to leads of 10-0 and 17-7. However, the 17-7 lead midway through the second quarter would be the last time in the 2005 postseason that the Steelers would trail an opponent by more than three points. After Kitna failed to produce, the Steelers took advantage by taking the next 24 straight points, and the win, in a 31-17 victory in Cincinnati.

Their second road win came on January 15. Roethlisberger led the Steelers against the Indianapolis Colts, the NFL's top team throughout the season and a heavy favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XL. Roethlisberger threw for 197 yards and recorded a game-saving tackle on Colts' defensive back Nick Harper, who had just recovered a Jerome Bettis fumble with less than two minutes left in the game. Pittsburgh led early but had to survive a Colts comeback to win 21-18, after an errant call that the NFL later admitted was a mistake,[37] which overturned a Troy Polamalu interception that would have secured the game for the Steelers. Roethlisberger's tackle on Harper, dubbed by many as The Tackle II or The Immaculate Redemption, was compared by many to "The Immaculate Reception" in 1972, when Franco Harris made a miraculous reception and scored the game-winning touchdown against the Oakland Raiders. The victory marked the first time in playoff history that a sixth-seeded NFL playoff team defeated the top-seeded team.

On January 22, 2006, the Steelers defeated the Broncos 34-17 in Denver to win the AFC Championship and advance to Super Bowl XL. Roethlisberger completed 21 of 29 passes for 275 yards and threw two touchdown passes and scored one TD himself on a four-yard play-action bootleg. His run was the last touchdown of the game, sealing the win for the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XL 21-10 over the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit on February 5, 2006. Roethlisberger had one of the worst passing games of his career, completing just nine of 21 passes for 123 yards and two interceptions; his passer rating of 22.6 was the lowest in Super Bowl history by a winning quarterback. Though he did convert eight third-down situations in the game to help the Steelers win, none of them was bigger than his 37-yard pass to Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward on a third-and-28 that set up the Steelers' first TD (a one-yard quarterback sneak by Roethlisberger on third and goal). With the victory, Roethlisberger, at 23 years old, became the youngest quarterback to win the Super Bowl, a record previously held by Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.[38]

2006 season

Roethlisberger drops back against Kansas City Chiefs in 2006. Steelers won 45-7.

After an off-season motorcycle crash in which he was seriously injured, Roethlisberger missed the opening game of the 2006 season after having an emergency appendectomy on September 3. Backup Charlie Batch started and led the Steelers to a victory over Miami. Roethlisberger played the following game against Jacksonville on Monday Night Football. His return resulted in a sub-par performance as he threw two interceptions with no touchdowns in a 9-0 loss. In week three, Roethlisberger completed fewer than half of his passes for three interceptions and no touchdowns in a 28-20 loss to the Bengals. The final interception came in the final seconds of the game, in the end zone, ending Pittsburgh's comeback attempt.

In a week-five game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football, Roethlisberger looked sharp throughout the first half, leading three scoring drives. However, in the second half, he threw two interceptions, both of which shifted momentum away from the Steelers and led to the Chargers' 23-13 win. In week six against the Kansas City Chiefs, Roethlisberger had his first big game of the season, completing 16 of 19 passes for 238 yards with two touchdowns (his first of the year) and no interceptions during a 45-7 rout of the Chiefs. During week seven in Atlanta, Roethlisberger continued his success, going 16 of 22 for 237 yards and three TDs. But during the third quarter, Roethlisberger was helped off the field after suffering a concussion following a controversial hit by Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney. Roethlisberger was replaced by Charlie Batch, and the Steelers went on to lose 41-38 in overtime.

On October 29 against the Oakland Raiders, Roethlisberger threw four interceptions in a 20-13 upset loss. The loss was his fifth of the season—two more than he had in his first two seasons combined as a starter—and gave him a total of 11 INTs, versus just six TDs, on the season. In a week-nine rematch of the 2005 AFC championship game against Denver, Roethlisberger threw a career-high 433 yards but had three of the six Steelers turnovers in a 31-20 loss. Roethlisberger and the Steelers got back on a winning track in a home game a week later against the New Orleans Saints. He passed for 265 yards and three TDs in a 38-31 win.

Roethlisberger, with backup Brian St.Pierre in a 2006 game against the Cincinnati Bengals

In week 11, Roethlisberger overcame three first-half INTs by throwing for 224 yards and two TDs in the fourth quarter, leading the Steelers to score 21 points and come back to beat the Cleveland Browns 24-20. The following week, Roethlisberger and the Steelers were held scoreless in a 27-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Roethlisberger finished 21 of 41 for 214 yards and two INTs. He was sacked nine times, including once by Ravens linebacker Bart Scott, which sent him to the sidelines briefly. He also fumbled once, which the Ravens returned for a TD in the second half. Roethlisberger bounced back the following game, throwing for 198 yards and two TDs in a 20-3 victory over Tampa Bay.

Pittsburgh kept their playoff hopes alive in week 14 with a 27-7 victory against the Browns. Roethlisberger went 11 of 21 for 225 yards with one TD, and rushed for one more. In week 15, Roethlisberger threw for 140 yards and a TD in a 37-3 rout of the Carolina Panthers. The following week, Baltimore eliminated Pittsburgh from the playoffs. In the 31-7 defeat, Roethlisberger was intercepted twice and threw for 156 yards.

Roethlisberger ended the season on a good note by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-17 in overtime in what would be Bill Cowher's final game as Steelers coach. He was 19 for 28 passing with 280 yards, one TD, and one INT. In overtime, Roethlisberger completed a slant pass to rookie Santonio Holmes, who went 67 yards for the game-winning TD. This win eliminated the Bengals from playoff contention.

2007 season

Season recap

Week 1 at Cleveland Browns (W 34-7): Roethlisberger threw four TD passes in a game for the first time in his NFL career as he led the Steelers to a win in the debut of new Steeler head coach Mike Tomlin.[39]

Week 2 vs. Buffalo Bills (W 26-3): After settling for four field goals in the first half, Roethlisberger threw a one-yard TD pass to rookie tight end Matt Spaeth in the third quarter.[40]

Roethlisberger in a Steelers' throwback jersey during 500th franchise win

Week 3 vs. San Francisco 49ers (W 37-16): Roethlisberger was 13 of 20 passing for 160 yards and a touchdown pass to the third TE, Jerame Tuman.[41]

Week 4 at Arizona Cardinals (L 21-14): Roethlisberger looked to get a win over his former offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, now the head coach of the Cardinals. However, Roethlisberger had his first loss of the season as he was intercepted twice; once in the red zone, and then on a desperation pass with six seconds left in the game.[42]

Week 5 vs. Seattle Seahawks (W 21-0): Despite starting wide receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes missing the game due to injury, Roethlisberger completed 18 of 22 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown pass to Heath Miller.[43]

Week 7 at Denver Broncos (L 31-28): On Sunday Night Football, Roethlisberger turned the ball over three times in the first half, before throwing three touchdown passes on the Steelers' three offensive drives in the second half; his last score tied the game at 28. Denver won on a last second field goal.[44]

Week 8 at Cincinnati Bengals (W 24-13): Roethlisberger threw a pair of touchdown passes to Hines Ward in the first half, and finished the game with 230 yards passing.[45]

Week 9 vs. Baltimore Ravens (W 38-7): On Monday Night Football, Roethlisberger passed for a career-high five touchdown passes, which tied the team record held by Terry Bradshaw and Mark Malone. All five touchdowns were thrown in the first half, making Roethlisberger one of two quarterbacks in the 2007 season (the other being Tom Brady), and only the fifth quarterback since the 1970 merger, to accomplish such a feat. He also posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating, finishing 13/16 for 209 yards and no interceptions.[46]

Week 10 vs. Cleveland Browns (W 31-28): Roethlisberger helped the Steelers erase a 15-point deficit against the rival Browns. With the Steelers trailing 21-16 in the fourth quarter and facing a third-and-10 from the Cleveland 30-yard line, Roethlisberger scrambled up the middle of the field for a 30-yard TD run (the longest run of his career at that point). He then completed a two-point conversion pass to Hines Ward. After the Browns returned the ensuing kickoff for a TD, Roethlisberger again had to drive the offense with a four-point deficit. This time he made three crucial plays on third down: an 18-yard pass to Santonio Holmes on third-and-six, a 20-yard pass to Heath Miller on a third-and-18, and a 10-yard scramble on third-and-nine. Roethlisberger capped off the drive with a short TD pass to Heath Miller, which proved to be the game winner.[47]

Week 11 at New York Jets (L 19-16 OT): After Roethlisberger led a go ahead field goal drive in the fourth quarter, the Jets forced the Steelers to overtime, where after a three and out by Pittsburgh, the Jets kicked the winning field goal. Roethlisberger was sacked seven times in the game.[48]

Week 12 vs. Miami Dolphins (W 3-0): Roethlisberger set a Steelers record, completing 85.7% of his passes (18 of 21) as the Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins 3-0, a feat made all the more remarkable given the weather conditions. Pittsburgh was hit with a torrential storm, delaying the Monday night game 30 minutes due to lightning, while turning the new sod on the field, laid earlier that week, into a soggy mess. In many parts of the field, players sunk several inches with each step. After one of the game's punts, the ball infamously stood straight up, stuck in the ground upon impact. With the game scoreless in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger led a game-winning field goal drive for the only points of the night.[49]

Week 15 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (L 29-22): Roethlisberger threw his 29th TD pass of the season, to Nate Washington, breaking the team single-season TD pass record previously held by Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw. The score also helped complete a 15-point comeback in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 22. On the final drive, down 29-22 and facing a fourth-and-seven, Roethlisberger completed a 6-yard pass to Heath Miller, short of the first down.[50]

Week 16 at St. Louis Rams (W 41-24): On Thursday Night Football, Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to have two perfect passer rating (158.3) games in the same regular season, completing 16/20 passes for 261 yards and 3 TDs. It was his third career perfect passer rating game, tying Peyton Manning for the most such regular-season games in NFL history.[51] Roethlisberger and other key starters did not play in the week 17 finale at Baltimore, as they had already clinched the AFC North division title and their spot in the AFC playoffs.

To cap his comeback season, Roethlisberger was selected to his first Pro Bowl, joining five other Steelers teammates on the AFC squad. Roethlisberger's 32 touchdown passes ranked third in the NFL, behind Tony Romo and Tom Brady, while his 104.1 passer rating was second only to Brady. Roethlisberger also set a new Steelers single-season record with 32 touchdown passes.

AFC Wild Card vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (L 31-29): In a week 15 rematch, Roethlisberger struggled early, throwing three interceptions in the 2nd quarter, one being returned for a TD by Rashean Mathis as the Steelers trailed 21-7 at halftime. With the injury to Willie Parker, the Steelers were never able to mount a rushing attack as the backs finished with 22 carries for 30 yards. The Steelers trailed 28-10 to start the 4th quarter, and were facing a 4th & 12 at the Jaguar 37-yard line. Roethlisberger completed a quick slant against the blitz to Santonio Holmes, who broke a tackle and scored to make it 28-17. Roethlisberger led a TD drive on each of the next two Steeler possessions as they took a 29-28 lead with just over six minutes remaining. However, they failed to convert the two-point conversion both times, and the Jaguars were able to get the game-winning FG after Jacksonville QB David Garrard scrambled for 32 yards on a fourth-and-two play. In the second half alone, Roethlisberger completed 17 of 23 passes for 263 yards and 2 TD passes. Roethlisberger did get the ball back with twenty-nine seconds left, but was sacked for the sixth time in the game and fumbled.[52]

Despite the disappointing playoff loss, Roethlisberger enjoyed a successful comeback season. He finished third in Comeback Player of the Year voting, behind the Patriots' Randy Moss and the Dallas Cowboys' Greg Ellis, who won the award.[53] Roethlisberger played in his first Pro Bowl in Hawaii, and played three series in the 2nd quarter, going 5/9 for 42 yards and a TD, and he led the AFC team in rushing with an 18-yard scramble. The NFC won the game 42-30.[54]

2008 Super Bowl season

Season recap

Week 1 vs. Houston Texans (W 38-17): Completed 13 of 14 passes for a career-high 92.9 completion percentage (min. 10 attempts), and finished with 137 yards passing and two TD passes. Byron Leftwich took over in the fourth quarter when Roethlisberger was on the sideline with a shoulder injury.[55]

Week 2 at Cleveland Browns (W 10-6): Leading the Steelers to their 10th straight win over the Browns on a windy, rainy night in Cleveland, Roethlisberger completed 13 of 20 passes for 179 yards and a TD. He also had the first pass reception of his career, a negative-seven-yard completion to himself after a deflected pass in the 2nd quarter.[56]

Week 3 at Philadelphia Eagles (L 15-6): Behind a relentless pass rush by Philadelphia, Roethlisberger was sacked eight times, fumbled twice, threw one interception, and was called for a safety in the fourth quarter. He did not finish the game, as his throwing hand was injured.[57]

Week 4 vs. Baltimore Ravens (W 23-20 OT): On Monday Night Football against a division rival, the Steelers trailed 13-3 at halftime. Roethlisberger threw a TD pass to Santonio Holmes in the third quarter to start a comeback. He completed two passes to Mewelde Moore for 31 yards in overtime, setting up Jeff Reed for the winning 46-yard field goal.[58]

Week 5 at Jacksonville Jaguars (W 26-21): On Sunday Night Football, completed 26 of 41 passes for 309 yards and three TDs. His 239 yards passing in the first half was a career high. After falling behind 21-20 in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger directed the game-winning drive, passing for an eight-yard TD to Hines Ward to put the Steelers ahead.[59] He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and the FedEx Air Player of the Week for his performance.[60]

Week 7 at Cincinnati Bengals (W 38-10): Off the bye, Roethlisberger passed for 216 yards and two touchdowns. It was the Steelers' eighth straight win in Cincinnati, and Roethlisberger was the quarterback for six of those games (it was his overall 11th win in 11 games in the state of Ohio).[61]

Week 8 vs. New York Giants (L 21-14): Against the defending champions, Roethlisberger was sacked five times, threw one touchdown, and tied a career-high with four interceptions.[62]

Week 9 at Washington Redskins (W 23-6): On Monday Night Football, Roethlisberger had one of the worst performances of his career, posting career lows in passer rating (15.1), completions (5), passing yards (50), yards per attempt (2.94) and completion percentage (29.4%). Overall, he was 5 of 17 for 50 yards, an interception, three sacks. Before halftime, Roethlisberger re-injured his throwing shoulder in the game when he rushed for a one-yard TD that put the Steelers ahead 10-6. He did not return in the second half, as backup Byron Leftwich finished the game.[63]

Week 10 vs. Indianapolis Colts (L 24-20): Despite missing practice until Friday with the sore shoulder, Roethlisberger started. The Steelers led 17-7 in the second quarter before a costly interception late in the half, which the Colts used to score a touchdown. The game was tied at 17 in the fourth quarter when Roethlisberger led a field-goal drive. But on the next drive he was intercepted, which set up Peyton Manning for the game-winning TD pass. Roethlisberger was intercepted a third time on a Hail Mary attempt in the end zone on the game's final play. Overall, Roethlisberger completed 29 passes for 280 yards, no TDs, and three INTs. After the game, Roethlisberger was quoted as saying, "You'll never hear me say 'I' anything, but I lost this game."[64]

Week 11 vs. San Diego Chargers (W 11-10): Roethlisberger completed 31 of 41 passes for 308 yards and no interceptions. He led his third game-winning drive of the season (16th of his career) as Jeff Reed's 32-yard field goal connected with 0:11 left. It was the first 11-10 game in NFL history.[65]

Week 12 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (W 27-10): On Thursday Night Football, Roethlisberger threw for 243 yards and one TD and rushed for his second TD of the season.[66]

Week 13 at New England Patriots (W 33-10): In consistent rain, Roethlisberger completed 17 of 33 passes for 179 yards, two TDs, and one INT. After falling behind 10-3 in the second quarter, Roethlisberger and the fierce Steelers' defense led the Steelers to 30 unanswered points in a 33-10 victory.[67]

Roethlisberger during a 2008 Monday Night Football game

Week 14 vs. Dallas Cowboys (W 20-13): Steelers trailed 13-3 in the fourth quarter before tying the game on Roethlisberger's six-yard TD pass to Heath Miller. The Steelers won 20-13 after Deshea Townsend intercepted a Tony Romo pass for a TD. Roethlisberger passed for 204 yards and one TD.[68] It was Roethlisberger's 49th victory as a starting QB, breaking the record for the most ever by a QB in their first five NFL seasons.[69]

Week 15 at Baltimore Ravens (W 13-9): Steelers trailed 9-3 in the 4th quarter. After a FG to make it 9-6, the Steelers took over with 3:38 remaining. Roethlisberger led a 92-yard, game-winning TD drive, culminating in a four-yard TD pass to Santonio Holmes for the 13-9 victory. The TD was confirmed by instant replay from a booth review. It was Roethlisberger's 50th victory as a starter and fifth game-winning/tying drive in the fourth quarter/OT of the season, and it clinched the second straight AFC North title for the Steelers. Roethlisberger threw for 246 yards and rushed for 21 more in the game. He completed seven passes for 89 yards on the winning drive.[70]

Week 16 at Tennessee Titans (L 31-14): After falling behind 10-0, Roethlisberger threw two TD passes to take a 14-10 lead in the third quarter. Later, an interception ended a streak of 131 passes without an interception, the longest of his career. After 14 unanswered by the Titans, Roethlisberger threw a second interception, which was returned for an 83-yard TD in the final minute. The Steelers' loss clinched the no. 2 seed. Roethlisberger completed 25 of 39 passes for 329 yards, two TDs, two INTs, and four fumbles (lost two).[71]

Week 17 vs. Cleveland Browns (W 31–0): Roethlisberger suffered simultaneous hard hits from Willie McGinest and D'Qwell Jackson just after the two-minute warning in the first half. He lay on the field for roughly 15 minutes before being carted off on a stretcher and taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion, but practiced during the week leading up to the playoff opener.[72]

AFC Divisional Playoffs vs. San Diego Chargers (W 35–24): Roethlisberger shook off past demons of returning from injury to lead the Steelers to a 35–24 victory against the Chargers. After a late TD drive to close the first half with a 14-10 lead, Roethlisberger converted three third-and-long passes on a 7:56 TD drive to start the second half, putting the Steelers up by double-digits for the rest of the game. He completed 17 of 26 passes for 181 yards and a TD while being sacked just once, with no turnovers. After the game, it was revealed that his injury suffered against Cleveland in week 17 was a spinal-cord concussion.[73]

AFC Championship vs. Baltimore Ravens (W 23-14): Roethlisberger threw for 255 yards, with one TD and no turnovers to help the Steelers beat Baltimore for the third time in the '08-'09 season and return to the Super Bowl. It was Roethlisberger's seventh playoff win in his first five seasons, moving him past Troy Aikman for second-most all-time (first is Tom Brady with nine).[74]

Super Bowl vs. Arizona Cardinals (W 27–23): Wanting to atone for his performance in Super Bowl XL, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to one of the more dramatic victories in Super Bowl history. On the first two offensive drives, Roethlisberger passed for 122 yards on seven of eight passing attempts, which was one yard shy of his total amount from his first Super Bowl start. The Steelers led 10-0 and went into halftime up 17-7. The lead grew to 20-7 before Arizona mounted a comeback. Trailing for the first time in the game, 23-20, with 2:30 remaining in the game, Roethlisberger took the field to start the winning drive. After a holding penalty on the first play, Roethlisberger marched the Steelers 88 yards in eight plays, hooking up with game MVP Santonio Holmes four times for 73 yards on the drive, including the six-yard TD pass that put the Steelers ahead with 0:35 remaining.[75] Overall, Roethlisberger finished 21 of 30 for 256 yards, one TD, and one INT. He had a passer rating of 93.2.[76]

2009 season

Season recap

Week 1 vs. Tennessee Titans (W 13-10 OT): Completed 33 of 43 passes for 363 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs in the 16th fourth quarter comeback of his career on the opening night of the 2009 season.

Week 2 at Chicago Bears (L 17-14): With the game tied at 14, Roethlisberger drove the Steelers into field goal range. However, Jeff Reed missed his second attempt of the quarter and Chicago would win on a field goal in the final seconds.

Week 3 at Cincinnati Bengals (L 23-20): The Steelers were dominant in the first half and led 20-9 in the fourth quarter, but the defense surrendered the lead with fourteen seconds left. Roethlisberger got the ball back with two seconds remaining and his hail mary was incomplete. It is his first NFL loss in the state of Ohio, snapping an 11-0 record.[77]

Week 4 vs. San Diego Chargers (W 38-28): Roethlisberger led the Steelers to touchdowns on four of their first five possessions to take a 28-0 lead in the second half. The Steelers hung on for victory, as Roethlisberger recorded his second 300-yard passing game of the season with 333 yards, 2 TDs and no turnovers.[78]

Week 5 vs. Detroit Lions (W 28-20): Roethlisberger completed over 70% of his passes for the third straight game and threw a season-high 3 TD passes.[79]

Week 6 vs. Cleveland Browns (W 27-14): Improved his record to 10-0 against the Browns by throwing for 417 yards and 2 TDs.[80]

Week 7 vs. Minnesota Vikings (W 27-17): Against the 6-0 Vikings, Roethlisberger completed 14 of 26 passes for 175 yards and threw a 40-yard TD pass to Mike Wallace before halftime.[81]

Week 9 at Denver Broncos (W 28-10): On Monday Night Football, Roethlisberger used the no-huddle offense to lead a dominant second half, as he threw for 233 yards and 3 TD passes to get his first regular season win over Denver.[82]

Roethlisberger in the 2009 season, against the Denver Broncos

Week 10 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (L 18-12): After completing 70.6% of his passes through the first eight games of the season, Roethlisberger was 20/40 (50%) against Cincinnati for a season-low 174 yards. He was sacked 4 times and failed to throw a TD pass for the first time in 2009.[83]

Week 11 at Kansas City Chiefs (L 27-24 OT): Roethlisberger had thrown for 398 yards and three touchdowns before leaving the game in overtime after taking a knee to the helmet on a scramble attempt.[84] He suffered the fourth concussion of his NFL career.[85]

Week 13 vs. Oakland Raiders (L 27-24): After sitting out the overtime loss in week 12 at Baltimore, Roethlisberger started against the Raiders and passed for 278 yards and 2 TD passes. He threw a go ahead TD pass to Hines Ward with 1:56 remaining, only to have the Raiders answer back with a winning TD with nine seconds left. The Steelers could not hold three leads in the fourth quarter. They led 10-6, 17-13 and 24-20. It was the fifth loss of the season in which they surrendered the lead in the final quarter.[86]

Week 14 at Cleveland Browns (L 13-6): On a frigid Thursday night in Cleveland, Roethlisberger was sacked 8 times and did not lead a touchdown drive in his first career loss to Cleveland, ending a perfect 10-0 record against the rival Browns. It is the first time he lost four straight starts.[87]

Week 15 vs. Green Bay Packers (W 37-36): Roethlisberger broke several franchise passing records in ending the five-game losing streak for the Steelers with the biggest passing day in franchise history. His first pass of the day was a 60-yard TD to Mike Wallace, and his last pass was a game-winning 19-yard TD to Wallace on the final play of the game. He passed for 503 yards, 3 TDs, and had no turnovers. He broke Terry Bradshaw's single-season record of 3,724 passing yards, and set a new mark for single-season completions (302). After leading a FG drive to take a 30-28 lead, the defense again surrendered the lead and the Steelers trailed 36-30. Roethlisberger used all 2:01 he had left to drive the team 86 yards for the winning TD with no time remaining.[88] Roethlisberger was named AFC Player of the Week for his effort; the 5th time he has won that award in his career.[89]

Week 16 vs. Baltimore Ravens (W 23-20): Roethlisberger's 259 yard effort helped him become the first QB in franchise history to pass for over 4000 yards in a single season. With the game tied at 20 in the final quarter, he led the Steelers on the game-winning FG drive as they improved to 8-7.[90]

Week 17 at Miami Dolphins (W 30-24): Roethlisberger ended the season with a win in Miami as he threw for 220 yards and 3 TD passes to finish the season with 4,328 yards and 26 TD passes. He was 9-6 as a starter and his 100.5 passer rating was the second time in his career he had a season with a rating over 100. He was sacked 50 times in 2009. Despite the three game win streak to end the season, the Steelers did not make the playoffs after tie-breakers eliminated them. Roethlisberger was voted as team MVP by the Steelers for the first time in his career.[91] He was selected as the first alternate to the Pro Bowl, but declined the invitation to rest his right shoulder which was injured in the Miami game.[92]

2010 Super Bowl season

Season recap

Week 6 vs. Cleveland Browns (W 28-10): After being suspended for the first four games of the season under the NFL player conduct policy, Roethlisberger returned to the Steelers during their Week 5 bye week. In his first game of the season he completed 16 of 27 passes for 258 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT.[93]

Week 7 at Miami Dolphins (W 23-22): Trailing 22-20 with 2:37 remaining in the game, Roethlisberger was at the center of controversy when he ran a QB draw and dove for the end zone, appearing to score a TD in the process. The play was ruled a TD on the field, but reviews showed Roethlisberger had fumbled short of the end zone. However, the review failed to provide conclusive evidence as to who recovered the ball after the fumble. By rule, possession was given to Pittsburgh, resulting in the game-winning field goal. Roethlisberger passed for 302 yards and 2 TDs in the game. "Just a bizarre kind of play. You hate to win it that way, but you'll take a win," Roethlisberger said.[94]

Week 8 at New Orleans Saints (L 20-10): In his 90th regular season game, Roethlisberger reached the 20,000-yard passing mark, but failed to throw a TD pass as the Steelers lost on Halloween night in the Superdome.[95]

Week 9 at Cincinnati Bengals (W 27-21): Roethlisberger improved to 8-2 as a starter on Monday Night Football, and 63-27 over his first 90 regular season starts (tied with Jim McMahon for 3rd highest win percentage through first 90 starts).[96]

Week 10 vs. New England Patriots (L 39-26): Roethlisberger passed for a season-high 387 yards and 3 TDs, but also had an interception returned for a score and was sacked five times as he tried to rally the Steelers from a 23-3 deficit in the second half on Sunday Night Football.[97]

Week 11 vs. Oakland Raiders (W 35-3): In his first win over the Raiders, Roethlisberger passed for 275 yards and 3 TDs, and rushed for a career-high 55 yards and a TD. Celebrating a second-quarter TD pass, Roethlisberger was punched in the face by Raiders' defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who was then ejected.[98]

Week 12 at Buffalo Bills (W 19-16 OT): Roethlisberger passed for 246 yards and led a 13-play, 58-yard drive in overtime, kept alive by a completion to Mike Wallace for 17 yards on third and eight, to set up new Steeler kicker Shaun Suisham for the 41-yard winning field goal.[99]

Week 13 at Baltimore Ravens (W 13-10): Roethlisberger was questionable to start the Sunday night game with a foot injury, but did start the game and suffered a broken nose on the first series after a hit to the face from Haloti Ngata. Trailing 10-6 in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger threw a go-ahead TD pass to Isaac Redman with 2:51 remaining and the Steelers held on for the win as he finished with 253 yards passing.[100]

Week 14 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (W 23-7): Roethlisberger passed for 258 yards in his 75th win as a starter (including playoffs).[101]

Week 15 vs. New York Jets (L 22-17): After getting the ball back, trailing 22-17 with 2:08 left, Roethlisberger drove the Steelers 82 yards to the Jets' 10-yard line, but his last two passes fell incomplete in the end zone and time expired.[102]

Week 16 vs. Carolina Panthers (W 27-3): On Thursday Night Football, Roethlisberger passed for 320 yards, a TD, and rushed for another score.[103]

Week 17 at Cleveland Browns (W 41-9): Roethlisberger passed for 280 yards and 2 TDs as the Steelers clinched the AFC North and the #2 seed in the AFC playoffs. He finished the season with a 9-3 record in 12 starts, passing for 3200 yards, 17 TDs and a career-low five interceptions.[104]

AFC Divisional Playoffs vs. Baltimore Ravens (W 31-24): Late in the first quarter Roethlisberger was sacked and fumbled the ball, and after both teams thought the pass was incomplete, it was eventually picked up by Cory Redding for a Baltimore TD. The Steelers trailed 21-7 in the third quarter before Roethlisberger completed TD passes to Heath Miller and Hines Ward to tie the game at 21. With just over two minutes left, the game was tied 24-24 and the Steelers faced a 3rd & 19. Roethlisberger completed a deep pass to rookie wide receiver Antonio Brown for 58 yards and Rashard Mendenhall's rushing TD put the Steelers ahead for good, 31-24, with 1:33 left. It was Roethlisberger's third game-winning drive in a playoff game. He finished with 19 completions on 32 attempts for 226 yards and 2 TD passes.[105]

AFC Championship vs. New York Jets (W 24-19): Roethlisberger rushed for a TD in the first half as the Steelers built a 24-0 lead, before the Jets scored 19 unanswered points. With two minutes remaining in the game, Roethlsiberger faced a 3rd & 6. He scrambled right and completed a 14-yard pass to Antonio Brown to seal the victory for Pittsburgh, sending them to their third Super Bowl appearance in the last six seasons. Roethlisberger completed 10 of 19 passes for a season-low 133 yards and two interceptions in the game.[106]

Super Bowl XLV vs. Green Bay Packers (L 31-25): In his third Super Bowl start, Roethlisberger was hit as he attempted a pass to Mike Wallace in the first quarter, and it was intercepted for a touchdown by Nick Collins. The Steelers trailed 21-3 in the second quarter before Roethlisberger completed a touchdown pass to Hines Ward to make it 21-10 at halftime. The Steelers closed to within 21-17 in the third quarter, but were unable to score on their next three drives. After falling behind 28-17 in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger threw a 25-yard TD pass to Mike Wallace, and then pitched the ball to Antwaan Randle El on a lateral for the two-point conversion to make it 28-25. Taking over at his own 13 with 1:59 left and down 31-25, Roethlisberger was unable to lead the game-winning drive against Green Bay this time after his pass fell incomplete to Wallace on 4th & 5 at his own 33-yard line, ensuring the first Super Bowl loss of his career. Roethlisberger finished the game 25/40 for 263 yards, 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. "I feel like I let the city of Pittsburgh down, the fans, my coaches and my teammates," Roethlisberger said, "and it's not a good feeling."[107]

2011 season

Season recap

Week 1 at Baltimore Ravens (L 35-7): In his 100th regular season game, Roethlisberger set career-worsts for turnovers (5) and largest margin of defeat (28) in his first loss against the Ravens since 2006.[108]

Week 2 vs. Seattle Seahawks (W 24-0): Roethlisberger became the fourth quarterback to reach 70 wins in his first 100 starts, as he threw for 298 yards and did not turn the ball over. He took a shot to his right knee in the second quarter, but returned after missing two plays to finish the game.[109]

Week 3 at Indianapolis Colts (W 23-20): Roethlisberger threw for a career-high 171 yards in the first quarter, turned the ball over three times in the second quarter, then led the Steelers to the 20th fourth quarter comeback of his career, passing Terry Bradshaw for the most in Steelers' history.[110]

Week 4 at Houston Texans (L 17-10): Roethlisberger was sacked five times and beat up all day by the Houston defense, finishing the game with a sprained left foot. He passed for 206 yards and threw an interception on a Hail Mary attempt in the final seconds of the game.[111]

Week 5 vs. Tennessee Titans (W 38-17): For the second time in his career, Roethlisberger threw five touchdown passes in a game. He earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the seventh time in his career.[112]

Week 6 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (W 17-13): Roethlisberger passed for 181 yards in the first half, but only 19 in the second half as the Steelers hung on for the win.[113]

Week 7 at Arizona Cardinals (W 32-20): Roethlisberger set the franchise record for longest pass with a 95-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace. He finished with 361 yards and 3 touchdowns in his first regular season win over the Cardinals.[114]

Week 8 vs. New England Patriots (W 25-17): Roethlisberger beat the Tom Brady-led Patriots for the first time in seven years, completing 36/50 passes for 365 yards and 2 touchdowns.[115] He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 8th time in his career.[116]

Week 9 vs. Baltimore Ravens (L 23-20): On Sunday Night Football, Roethlisberger rallied the Steelers back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take a 20-16 lead with five minutes left. But the Ravens would score the winning touchdown with 0:08 left, completing the season sweep. Roethlisberger passed for 330 yards; the first time he's had a 300-yard game against Baltimore.[117]

Week 10 at Cincinnati Bengals (W 24-17): Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a 14-0 lead and held on for the win after throwing for 245 yards.[118]

Week 12 at Kansas City Chiefs (W 13-9): Roethlisberger's career-best streak of 18 consecutive games with 200+ yards passing came to an end as he finished with 193.[119]

Week 13 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (W 35-7): Roethlisberger moved past Terry Bradshaw in the Steelers' record books; first for most times sacked, then for most pass completions in team history.[120]

Week 14 vs. Cleveland Browns (W 14-3): In the second quarter, Roethlisberger's leg was injured on a sack and he left the game. He would return for the second half and played the rest of the game, despite limping on his high-ankle sprain. He threw a game-clinching 79-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown late in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger finished with 280 yards passing on just 21 attempts for a career-high 13.33 YPA (min. 15 attempts). On the injury, Roethlisberger said, "It was one of the most painful things I ever felt. It felt like the middle of my leg was just, cracked ... it felt like my foot was outside of my leg." [121]

Week 15 vs. San Francisco 49ers (L 20-3): Roethlisberger started the game while suffering through a high-ankle sprain. During the game it was clear that Roethlisberger was still showing signs of the injury due to him limping between plays. He finished the game without any touchdowns but had 330 yards passing while throwing 3 interceptions.[122]

Week 16 vs. St. Louis Rams (W 27-0): Because of Roethlisberger's leg injury from Week 14, the team opted to sit him and start Charlie Batch, giving Roethlisberger more time to recover.[123]

Week 17 vs. Cleveland Browns (W 13-9): Just three weeks after the Browns injured Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger once again took the field to face the same opponents in their home stadium. The Steelers opted to start Roethlisberger over Batch because of the possibility that Baltimore could drop its final game, and a win by the Steelers would take back the division title. Despite his injury, Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff believed Roethlisberger gave them their best chance at victory. Big Ben completed 23 of 40 passes for 221 yards with no TDs or INTs. Baltimore went on to win their final game and secured the division title, leaving Steelers with the number 5 seed to face Denver in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.[124]

AFC Wild Card Round vs Denver Broncos (L 29-23 OT): Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense battled a tough Denver defense, trailing 20-6 at the half but tying it at 23-23 before the end of regulation. The game-tying TD came on a 2nd and 10 with 3:47 remaining in regulation, in which Big Ben made a vintage play eluding pass rushers before connecting with Jericho Cotchery on a 31-yard pass. Despite the heroic efforts of Roethlisberger and company, Tim Tebow's magical season continued with his best single-game performance to date, capped off with an 80-yard completion to Demaryius Thomas to end overtime after one play. Roethlisberger completed 22 of 40 passes for 289 yards, with 1 TD and 1 INT to end the 2011 season.[125]

Career statistics

Regular season

Regular season
  Passing Rushing Defensive Punting Fumbles
Season Team Games Cmp Att Cmp% Yds YPA Lg TD Int Rating Att Yds Avg Lg TD Total Tkl Ast No Yds Lg Avg Fum Lost
2004 PIT 14 196 295 66.4 2,621 8.9 58 17 11 98.1 56 144 2.6 20 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
2005 PIT 12 168 268 62.7 2,385 8.9 85 17 9 98.6 31 69 2.2 13 3 1 1 0 2 72 39 36 2 1
2006 PIT 15 280 469 59.7 3,513 7.5 67 18 23 75.4 32 98 3.1 20 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 2
2007 PIT 15 264 404 65.3 3,154 7.8 83 32 11 104.1 35 204 5.8 30 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 3
2008 PIT 16 281 469 59.9 3,301 7.0 65 17 15 80.1 34 101 3.0 17 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 14 7
2009 PIT 15 337 506 66.6 4,328 8.6 60 26 12 100.5 40 82 2.1 15 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 3
2010 PIT 12 240 389 61.7 3,200 8.2 56 17 5 97.0 34 176 5.2 31 2 0 0 0 1 35 35 35 7 3
2011 PIT 15 324 513 63.2 4,077 7.9 95 21 14 90.1 31 70 2.3 11 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 8 5
2012 PIT 13 284 449 63.3 3,265 7.3 82 26 8 97 26 92 3.5 11 0 0 0 0 1 26 26 26 6 3
Career 127 2,374 3,762 63.1 29,844 7.9 95 191 108 92.7 319 1,036 3.2 31 14 8 8 0 4 133 39 33 60 29

Note: Roethlisberger also has 1 reception for -7 yards that he completed to himself versus Cleveland on 9/14/2008[126]

Playoffs

Playoffs
  Passing Rushing Defensive Punting Fumbles
Season Team Games Cmp Att Cmp% Yds YPA Lg TD Int Rating Att Yds Avg Lg TD Total Tkl Ast No Yds Lg Avg Fum Lost Rec
2004 PIT 2 31 54 57.4 407 7.54 34 3 5 61.3 9 75 8.3 20 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 1 0 0
2005 PIT 4 58 93 62.3 803 8.63 54 7 3 101.7 19 37 1.9 10 2 1 1 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2007 PIT 1 29 42 69.0 337 8.02 40 2 3 79.2 4 13 3.3 6 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 1 1 0
2008 PIT 3 54 89 60.7 692 7.78 65 3 1 91.6 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 1 25 25 25.0 0 0 0
2010 PIT 3 54 91 59.3 622 6.84 58 4 4 76.4 21 63 3.0 1 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 3 1 0
2011 PIT 1 22 40 55 289 7.23 33 1 1 75.9 3 15 5.0 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 14 248 409 60.64% 3150 7.67 65 20 17 83.70 61 203 3.3 20 3 1 1 0.0 1 25 25 25.0 5 2 0

Comebacks/game-winning drives in the fourth quarter/overtime

Roethlisberger set a NFL rookie record in 2004 with five comeback wins in the fourth quarter, and six game-winning drives in the fourth quarter/overtime (including one playoff game).[127][128] Roethlisberger has the most comeback wins (19) and game-winning drives (25) through the first seven seasons of a player's career.[129][130] He is the only quarterback to reach 20 comeback wins before the age of 30.[131]

No. Date Opponent Down Go-ahead Play Scoring Drive(s) Stats Drive Started Clock at end Final Score
1 October 3, 2004 Cincinnati Bengals 14-17 J. Bettis 1 yd TD run 3/4, 23 yards 0:44 (3rd QT) 9:06 28-17[132]
2 October 17, 2004 @ Dallas Cowboys 10-20 J.Bettis 2 yd TD run 9/9, 72 yards, TD (2 drives) 2:20 0:30 24-20[133]
3 December 5, 2004 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 14-16 Reed 37 yd FG 3/4, 40 yards 1:50 0:18 17-16[134]
4 December 12, 2004 New York Jets 3-3 (tie) J. Bettis 10 yd TD pass to J. Tuman 2/2, 47 yards 2:30 (3rd QT) 12:51 17-6[135]
5 December 18, 2004 @ New York Giants 26-30 J. Bettis 1 yd TD run 6/7, 109 yards (2 drives) 8:10 4:57 33-30[136]
6 January 15, 2005 New York Jets (AFC Divisional) 10-17 Reed 33 yd FG 6/8, 52 yards, TD (2 drives) 12:15 (OT) 3:56 20-17 OT[137]
7 October 10, 2005 @ San Diego Chargers 21-22 Reed 40 yd FG 6/6, 81 yards, TD (2 drives) 4:36 0:06 24-22[138]
8 October 31, 2005 Baltimore Ravens 17-19 Reed 37 yd FG 2/2, 37 yards 3:14 1:36 20-19[139]
9 November 12, 2006 New Orleans Saints 24-24 (tie) W. Parker 3 yd TD run 1 sack, minus-8 yards 3:29 (3rd QT) 14:55 38-31[140]
10 November 19, 2006 @ Cleveland Browns 10-20 Roethlisberger 4 yd TD pass to W. Parker 18/28, 224 yards, 2 TDs, 13 rush yds (3 drives) 3:06 0:32 24-20[141]
11 December 31, 2006 @ Cincinnati Bengals 7-10 Roethlisberger 67 yd TD pass to S. Holmes 7/10, 182 yards, TD, 6 rush yds (3 drives) 14:55 (OT) 13:38 23-17 OT[142]
12 November 11, 2007 Cleveland Browns 24-28 Roethlisberger 2 yd TD pass to H. Miller 7/9, 99 yards, TD, 40 rush yards, TD, 2pt conv. pass (2 drives) 11:10 3:13 31-28[143]
13 November 26, 2007 Miami Dolphins 0-0 (tie) Reed 24 yd FG 4/5, 44 yards 4:13 0:17 3-0[144]
14 September 9, 2008 Baltimore Ravens 20-20 (tie) Reed 46 yd FG 2/3, 31 yards 12:51 (OT) 9:01 23-20 OT[145]
15 October 5, 2008 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 20-21 Roethlisberger 8 yd TD pass to H. Ward 6/8, 61 yards, TD 6:33 1:53 26-21[146]
16 November 16, 2008 San Diego Chargers 8-10 Reed 32 yd FG 6/6, 62 yards 6:31 0:11 11-10[147]
17 December 7, 2008 Dallas Cowboys 3-13 D. Townsend 25 yd Interception return 5/7, 63 yards, TD, 10 rush yds (2 drives) 5:10 2:04 20-13[148]
18 December 14, 2008 @ Baltimore Ravens 6-9 Roethlisberger 4 yd TD pass to S. Holmes 10/17, 130 yards, TD (2 drives) 3:36 0:43 13-9[149]
19 February 1, 2009 Arizona Cardinals (Super Bowl XLIII) 20-23 Roethlisberger 6 yd TD pass to S. Holmes 5/7, 84 yards, TD, 4 rush yds 2:30 0:35 27-23[150]
20 September 10, 2009 Tennessee Titans 7-10 Reed 33 yd FG 12/14, 117 yards (2 drives) 14:56 (OT) 10:34 13-10 OT[151]
21 December 20, 2009 Green Bay Packers 30-36 Roethlisberger 19 yd TD pass to M. Wallace 8/15, 157 yards, TD (2 drives) 2:01 0:00 37-36[152]
22 December 27, 2009 Baltimore Ravens 20-20 (tie) Reed 38 yd FG 2/5, 38 yards 9:03 5:25 23-20[153]
23 October 24, 2010 @ Miami Dolphins 20-22 Reed 18 yd FG 2/2, 31 yards, 1 rush yd 5:05 2:26 23-22[154]
24 November 28, 2010 @ Buffalo Bills 16-16 (tie) Suisham 41 yd FG 1/3, 17 yards 9:20 (OT) 2:14 19-16 (OT)[155]
25 December 5, 2010 @ Baltimore Ravens 6-10 Roethlisberger 9 yd TD pass to I. Redman 1/3, 9 yards, TD 3:13 2:51 13-10[156]
26 January 15, 2011 Baltimore Ravens (AFC Divisional) 24-24 (tie) R.Mendenhall 2-yard TD run 2/6, 70 yards 3:48 1:33 31-24[157]
27 September 25, 2011 @ Indianapolis Colts 10-13 Suisham 38 yd FG 7/12, 93 yards, 1 sack, minus-9 yards, 13 rush yards (4 drives) 2:50 (3rd QT) 0:04 23-20[158]
28 October 21, 2012 @ Cincinnati Bengals 17-17 Rainey 11 yd TD 7/12, 67 yards, 1 sack, minus-9 yards, 13 rush yards (4 drives) 2:50 (3rd QT) 0:04 24-17[159]
29 November 4, 2012 @ New York Giants 17-20 Redman 1 yd TD 2/4, 51 yards 20 rush yards (9 drives) 8:55 (4th QT) 4:02 24-20[160]
30 November 17, 2013 Detroit Lions 23-27 Roethlisberger 1 yd TD 2/4, 51 yards 20 rush yards (9 drives) 8:55 (4th QT) 4:46 37-27[161]

Records

Miami Redhawks records

Miami University is in Oxford, Ohio, and all records are from the 2008 media guide.[162]

  • Most Pass Attempts, Career - 1,304 (2001–03)
  • Most Pass Attempts, Season - 495 (2003)
  • Most Pass Completions, Career - 854 (2001–03)
  • Most Pass Completions, Season - 342 (2003; also a MAC record)
  • Most Pass Completions, Game - 41 (vs. Northern Illinois, 2002; MAC record) [163]
  • Most Passing Yards, Career - 10,829 (2001–03)
  • Most Passing Yards, Season - 4,486 (2003; also a MAC Record)
  • Most Passing Yards, Game - 525 (vs. Northern Illinois, 2002)
  • Most Passing Touchdowns, Career - 84 (2001–03)
  • Most Passing Touchdowns, Season - 37 (2003)
  • Most Passing Touchdowns, Game - 5 (did it at Ohio in 2001 and at UCF in 2003; tied with Sam Ricketts)
  • Most Total Offense Yards, Career - 11,075 (2001–03)
  • Most Total Offense Yards, Season - 4,597 (2003)
  • Most Total Offense Yards, Game - 485 (vs. Northern Illinois, 2002)
  • Most 300+ Yard Passing Games - 14
  • Most 400+ Yard Passing Games - 4
  • Most Games w/4+ TD Passes - 7
  • Highest Completion %, Career (Min. 300 attempts) - 65.5% (2001–03)
  • Highest Completion %, Season (Min. 100 attempts) - 69.1% (2003)
  • (Tie) Most Games in a Season w/200+ Yards Passing - 14 (2003; NCAA Record)
  • (Tie) Consecutive Games in a Season w/200+ Yards Passing - 14 (2003; NCAA Record)

NFL records

  • Most regular season wins in a season, rookie QB — 13 (2004) [164]
  • Longest regular season win streak to start a career for a NFL QB — 15 games (won all 13 starts in the 2004 season, won first 2 games of the 2005 season)[165]
  • Most wins as a starting quarterback in first five NFL seasons (reg. season only) - 51 (from 2004–2008)[69]
  • Highest completion percentage, rookie season — 66.4% (2004)[166]
  • Highest single-game completion percentage, rookie season (min. 20 attempts) — 84.0% (completed 21/25 passes at Dallas on 10/17/2004)[167]
  • Most games with a completion percentage of 70.0% or higher, rookie season (min. 10 attempts) — 6 (2004)[168]
  • Most games with a completion percentage of 80.0% or higher, single season (min. 10 attempts) — 4 (2007)[169]
  • (Tie) Most touchdown passes, Monday Night Football game — 5 (11/5/2007 vs. Baltimore Ravens) [165]
  • First QB to start two Conference Championship games in first two seasons in the NFL (2004 & 2005)[165]
  • Youngest starting QB ever to win the Super Bowl (2005; second-youngest QB to play in the Super Bowl, behind Dan Marino)[170]
  • Second quarterback in NFL history, along with Peyton Manning, to register three perfect passing games during the regular season, and the only quarterback to ever register two perfect passing games in one regular season.[165]
  • Lowest passer rating for a Super Bowl winning QB — 22.6 (Completed 9 of 21 passes for zero touchdowns with two interceptions)[171]
  • Second-youngest quarterback to win two Super Bowls.[172]
  • Second-fewest attempts by a quarterback to reach 25,000 yards passing — 3,109 (Kurt Warner is first with 3,076)[citation needed]
  • Fourth-fewest starts by a quarterback to reach 80 regular season wins — 113 (behind Tom Brady, Roger Staubach, and Ken Stabler)[citation needed]

Pittsburgh Steelers franchise records

In his eight seasons, Roethlisberger has many individual accomplishments that are record performances in Steelers history.[173][174]

On October 11, 2012 he passed Terry Bradshaw for most passing yards for a Steelers quarterback.

Career records

  • 97-43 (.693) record as starting QB (includes a 10-4 playoff record)
  • .693 winning percentage is the highest among all Steelers QBs with at least 20 starts
  • Highest Passer Rating (Min. 100 attempts) — 92.7
  • Highest Completion Percentage (Min. 100 attempts) — 63.1%
  • Highest Yards Per Attempt (Min. 100 attempts) — 7.93
  • Longest Pass Completion — 95-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace on 10/23/2011 against the Arizona Cardinals
  • Most Pass Completions — 2,374
  • Most Times Sacked — 344
  • Most 200+ Yard Passing Games — 92 (includes eight playoff games)
  • Most 300+ Yard Passing Games — 24 (includes one playoff game)
  • Most Consecutive Games With 300+ Yards Passing — 3 (from October 23, 2011 through November 6, 2011)
  • Most 400+ Yard Passing Games — 3
  • Most 500+ Yard Passing Games — 1
  • Most 3000-Yard Passing Seasons — 7 (2006–2012)
  • Most Consecutive 3000-Yard Passing Seasons — 7 (2006–2012)
  • Most 4000-Yard Passing Seasons — 2 (2009, 2011)
  • Most 3+ TD Passing Games — 24 (includes one playoff game)
  • Most 4+ TD Passing Games — 5
  • Most 5+ TD Passing Games — 2
  • Most Consecutive Games With a TD Pass — 18 (from September 12, 2012 through October 13, 2013)
  • Most 4th Quarter Comeback Wins — 22
  • Most Games with a Passer Rating over 100.0 (regular season; min. 10 attempts) — 51[175]
  • Most Games with a Perfect Passer Rating — 3
  • Most Games with 40+ Pass Attempts — 23[176]
  • Most Games with 20+ Completions — 53[177]
  • Most Games with 30+ Completions — 7[178]
  • Most Games with Completion Percentage of at least 60% — 84[179]
  • Most Games with Completion Percentage of at least 70% — 36[180]
  • Biggest contract in Steelers history (eight years, $102 million)[181]

Season records

  • Highest Completion Percentage — 66.6% (2009)
  • Most Touchdown Passes — 32 (2007)
  • Highest Touchdown Pass Percentage — 7.92% (2007)
  • Highest Yards Per Attempt — 8.90 (2005)
  • Highest Passer Rating — 104.1 (2007)
  • Most Passing Yards — 4,328 (2009)
  • Most 200+ Yard Passing Games — 13 (2009 & 2011)
  • Most 300+ Yard Passing Games — 5 (2009 & 2011)[182]
  • Most 400+ Yard Passing Games — 2 (2009)
  • Most 500+ Yard Passing Games — 1 (2009)
  • Most 3+ TD Passing Games — 5 (2007 & 2009)
  • (Tie) Most 4+ TD Passing Games — 3 (2007)
  • Most Pass Completions — 337 (2009)
  • Lowest Interception Percentage — 1.29% (2010; 5 INTs on 389 attempts)
  • Fewest Interceptions (Min. 10 attempts/game) — 5 (2010)

Single-game records

  • Most Passing Yards — 503 (Completed 29 of 46 passes for 503 yards and 3 touchdowns on December 20, 2009 against the Green Bay Packers)
  • Most Pass Completions — 38 (Completed 38 of 54 passes for 433 yards on November 5, 2006 against the Denver Broncos)
  • (Tie) Most Consecutive Passes Completed, Single Game — 15 (Completed 15 straight on November 26, 2007 against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. Bubby Brister also completed 15 straight on October 1, 1989 against the Detroit Lions.)
  • Highest Completion %, Game (min. 20 attempts) — 85.7% (Completed 18 out of 21 attempts on November 26, 2007 against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football)
  • (Tie) Most Touchdown Passes, Game — 5 (Threw five TD passes in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens on a Monday-night game November 5, 2007. Tied his own record against the Tennessee Titans on October 9, 2011. Also tied with Terry Bradshaw and Mark Malone) [183]

Rookie records (achieved during 2004 season)

  • Most Pass Attempts — 295
  • Most Pass Completions — 196
  • Highest Completion Percentage — 66.4%
  • Most Passing Yards — 2621
  • Most Touchdown Passes — 17
  • Highest Yards Per Attempt — 8.88
  • Highest Passer Rating — 98.1
  • Wins as starting QB — 13

Postseason records

  • Highest Completion Percentage (Min. 50 attempts) — 61.3%
  • Highest Passer Rating — 84.5

Charitable works

Roethlisberger started a foundation with the following mission statement: "The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation seeks to (a): provide support for police and fire departments throughout the U.S. with a particular emphasis on service dogs and (b): to enhance the quality of life for residents of Findlay, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." [184]

In 2005, Roethlisberger donated one game check to aid the tsunami relief fund.[185] He has also donated over $100,000 to fund police dogs in Pittsburgh.[186] Roethlisberger participated in the 2009 US Open Challenge with Michael Jordan, Justin Timberlake, and essay winner Larry Giebelhausen in a quest to break 100 on the Bethpage Black course. He shot an 81, the low of the group.

Off-field headlines

Motorcycle accident

On Monday, June 12, 2006, at 11:17 a.m. EDT (UTC-4), Roethlisberger was involved in a motorcycle accident near the intersection of 10th Street and Second Avenue near downtown Pittsburgh, in which he was not wearing his helmet. Roethlisberger did not have a valid Pennsylvania motorcycle license at the time of the accident, only a temporary permit that he had obtained after moving to Pittsburgh which had expired in March.[7]

Roethlisberger was traveling east on Second Avenue when a Chrysler New Yorker made a left turn in front of the motorcycle and onto the South Tenth Street Bridge[4] when the accident occurred. According to an eyewitness, Roethlisberger went over the handlebars of his bike, a 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa,[5] shattering the windshield of the car with his head. The eyewitness reports claimed Roethlisberger tried to get up but was bleeding from the head.[6] Reports from the scene and news media indicated that the accident was serious but "not life- or career-threatening," though Roethlisberger would later relate in interviews that paramedics on the scene stopped the bleeding in his throat just in time to save his life.[187]

After the accident, the shift commander for the Allegheny County emergency service described Roethlisberger as "alert and conscious."[187] He was transported to Mercy Hospital and was described as being in "serious but stable" condition in the operating room.

Police sources have indicated that Roethlisberger suffered fractures to the jaw and right sinus cavity, as well as a nine-inch laceration to the back of the head, the loss of two teeth, and several chipped teeth. His facial injuries were severe enough that witnesses on the scene did not immediately recognize him, even after he identified himself as "Ben."[188]

Upon arriving at Mercy Hospital, he went immediately into surgery, where he remained for more than seven hours. The broken bones in his face were repaired. The subsequent news conference with the hospital staff was brief but confirmed early reports that the most serious injuries were to the head and face. There was no neck, spinal, or brain damage found. After surgery, at approximately noon on June 13, 2006, Roethlisberger was upgraded to fair condition.[187][189]

The most serious injuries to Roethlisberger were a broken upper and lower jaw and a broken nose. Roethlisberger was expected to make a full recovery in time for the opening game of the season.

In the wake of Kellen Winslow II's crashing of his motorcycle in May 2005, Roethlisberger had been criticized by various NFL members and the media for not wearing a helmet while riding. Even Roethlisberger's coach, Bill Cowher, lectured him about motorcycle safety. Former Steeler Terry Bradshaw warned Roethlisberger personally when he visited the Steelers' training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and on television, saying, "Ride it when you retire."[187] In a segment put together by ESPN following Winslow's accident, Roethlisberger had said he did not wear a helmet because it was not required by law, adding, "You're just more free when you're out there and there's no helmet on." Transcripts of the interview recall Roethlisberger telling Suzy Kolber that he only rides a Harley, or his chopper with friends, not a sport bike (like the one Winslow was on). He also claimed to have his license. Both statements have been proven false since the accident.

Roethlisberger was released from the hospital at 11:46 PM on June 14, 2006. The next day, he released a statement apologizing for concerning friends, family, all his fans, and the Steelers organization, and in which he also stated, "If I ever ride again, it certainly will be with a helmet."[190]

On June 19, the Pittsburgh police announced that Roethlisberger would be cited for failure to wear a helmet and failure to operate in his license class. Wearing a helmet is optional in Pennsylvania only for operators who currently possess and have had a motorcycle license for at least two years. The driver of the car was cited for failure to yield the right of way.[191]

Roethlisberger gave his first television interview after the accident on July 13, with ABC's Good Morning America. He said he was told by responding paramedics that he ruptured a major blood vessel in his mouth and was minutes away from dying. Despite the seriousness of the accident, his recovery went so well that he started the first three Steelers 2006 preseason games.[192]

Sexual assault allegations

Lake Tahoe

On July 17, 2009, a civil suit was filed in Washoe County, Nevada District Court accusing Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting Andrea McNulty, 31, in June 2008 in his hotel room while he was in Lake Tahoe for a celebrity golf tournament.[citation needed] Roethlisberger is one of nine defendants listed in the docket report. McNulty could not obtain criminal charges to be filed against him due to lack of evidence, and thus no investigation was launched to obtain any possible physical evidence. Roethlisberger's attorney denied the claim.[8]

The Lake Tahoe suit seeks at least $440,000 in damages from the quarterback and also alleges hotel officials for Harrah's Lake Tahoe went to great lengths to cover up the incident. The woman is seeking $50,000 in damages from the Harrah's officials. According to McNulty, she was working as an executive casino host in July 2008, when she said Roethlisberger struck up a friendly conversation at her desk during the golf tournament, the next night she said Roethlisberger telephoned her to tell her that the television sound system in his room wasn't working and asked her to look at it. The woman said she determined that the TV was functioning properly, but as she turned to leave he stood in front of the door and blocked her, then grabbed her and started to kiss her.[9] According to the lawsuit, the woman obtained hospital treatment after the alleged attack.

On August 8, 2009, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published details of an affidavit filed as part of a motion by two of the other defendants named in the suit to relocate the case from Washoe County to Douglas County. In the affidavit, Angela Antonetti, McNulty's former co-worker, delivered a sworn statement that McNulty had bragged to her about having consensual sex with Roethlisberger. As part of the affidavit, Antonetti said she was "absolutely shocked" upon hearing of the case on the radio on July 21. Antonetti explained, "I knew that [her] lawsuit and false allegations would unfairly and unjustly hurt Mr. Roethlisberger".[10]

According to the affidavit, defendant Antonetti claimed that McNulty had revealed she was hoping she had gotten pregnant with a "little Roethlisberger". Antonetti also claimed that she had been asked to travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in August 2008 in an attempt to "run into" the quarterback. In response, Antonetti advised McNulty she "shouldn't try to chase Mr. Roethlisberger".[10]

Milledgeville, Georgia

On March 5, 2010, it was revealed that police in Milledgeville, Georgia were investigating Roethlisberger for a sexual assault inside the women's restroom of the Capital City nightclub. The accuser, a then-20-year-old student at nearby Georgia College & State University, was seen at several establishments with Roethlisberger leading up to the incident, including posing for a photograph with him.[citation needed] Roethlisberger spoke with police the night of the incident and stated that he did have contact with the woman that was not "consummated" and afterward the accuser slipped and injured her head.

Roethlisberger hired lawyer Ed Garland, who had previously defended Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in his murder trial. Head coach Mike Tomlin stated at the time that he was "highly concerned" for the franchise and Roethlisberger.[11]

The accuser was treated at Oconee Regional Medical Center. An emergency-room doctor and two nurses examined her and noted in their report a "superficial laceration and bruising and slight bleeding in the genital area", but could not say if trauma or sexual assault was the cause. The remaining examination was "normal".[12] A rape kit was collected, but no semen was recovered, and the amount of male DNA found was insufficient to create a profile or establish that an assault had taken place. The doctor's report also quoted the alleged victim telling them that, "A boy kind of raped me."[12]

In interviews with the police on the night of the incident, the woman alleged that Roethlisberger, after inviting her and her friends to the V.I.P. area of the nightclub, encouraged them to do numerous shots of alcohol before Anthony Barravecchio — an off-duty Coraopolis, Pennsylvania policeman, undercover DEA narcotics officer at Pittsburgh International Airport, and one of Roethlisberger's bodyguards[193][13] — stated he led her down a hallway to a stool and left. Witnesses, however, stated that Barravecchio "placed his hand" on the accuser's shoulder and applied "a little bit of pressure to guide her" into the restroom where she claims the assault took place, something Barravecchio's lawyer denies.[194][195]

After Barravecchio's claimed departure, Roethlisberger allegedly approached, exposed himself, and despite the woman's protests, followed her into what turned out to be a bathroom when she tried to leave through the first door she saw. The woman claims Roethlisberger then had sex with her. It is further alleged that friends of the woman attempted to intervene out of worry, but the second of Roethlisberger's bodyguards, Edward Joyner—an off-duty Pennsylvania State Trooper—avoided eye contact and said he did not know what they were talking about. The policemen later claimed to "have no memory" of meeting the woman.[196]

Milledgeville Police Sergeant Jerry Blash, who had posed for a photograph with Roethlisberger earlier in the evening, was the first officer to respond. At the scene, he made a comment about the accuser to Barravecchio: "We have a problem, this drunken [expletive], drunk off her ass, is accusing Ben of rape.” Blash later admitted denigrating the accuser and never formally questioning Roethlisberger; he did speak to the NFL player and his off-duty police bodyguards at the Capital City club, but according to Blash's own report, Roethlisberger was hardly engaged and spent most of the time on his phone.[13]

On April 12, 2010, district attorney Fred Bright held a press conference to announce that Roethlisberger would not be charged. Bright said "looking at all the evidence here, I cannot prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt".[12] Furthermore, the accuser wrote to the D.A. through her lawyer expressing she no longer wanted to pursue criminal charges[14] because the level of media attention would make a criminal trial too "intrusive" of a personal experience. The letter stressed that she was not recanting her accusation.[15]

As a result of the unabridged details revealed in Bright's press conference, reaction was swift. Steelers president Art Rooney II was reported to be "furious".[16] The owner of Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports, which marketed "Big Ben's Beef Jerky", terminated the company's five-year sponsorship of Roethlisberger, the first such action in the company's 14-year history.[19][20] Jerry Blash finally resigned from the Milledgeville Police on April 15, 2010. Anthony Barravecchio was never disciplined in the incident, despite a local investigation where the Coraopolis Solicitor reviewed the 500-page Georgia Bureau of Investigation file on the matter.[195][197]

Roethlisberger was among the celebrities lampooned in the 14th season premiere of the Comedy Central animated series South Park, appearing in a rehabilitation class for "sex addicts" along with David Letterman, Bill Clinton, and others. Titled "Sexual Healing", the episode aired shortly after the second accusation of sexual assault was made against Roethlisberger.[198]

2010 suspension

On April 21, 2010, the NFL's Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Roethlisberger would be suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2010 season due to a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy. Roethlisberger was ordered to undergo a league-mandated "professional behavior evaluation" and "must adhere to any counseling or treatment that is recommended by the professional evaluators."[17] The suspension was subsequently reduced to four games.[18]

Personal life

He is the son of Ken and Brenda Roethlisberger. His younger sister, Carlee Roethlisberger, played women's basketball for the University of Oklahoma.[199]

On July 23, 2011, Roethlisberger married Ashley Harlan, a physician assistant from New Castle, Pennsylvania.[200] On June 9, 2012, Roethlisberger announced through his official Facebook page that he and Ashley are expecting their first child, a son, later in 2012.[201] Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger, Jr. was born on November 21, 2012.[202]

Roethlisberger is a spokesman for Swiss Roots, a campaign intended to help Americans of Swiss origin reconnect with their Swiss ancestral heritage.[203] In May 2006, Roethlisberger and his family traveled to Switzerland for a week.[203][204]

He has his own line of barbecue sauce, Big Ben's BBQ.[205]

In 2012, Roethlisberger returned to Miami University to complete his college degree, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Education on May 6, 2012. Roethlisberger walked with the other graduates at the commencement ceremony, with his parents, grandmother, and wife Ashley in attendance.[28] He had planned on finishing his degree sooner, but the Steelers having deep playoff runs earlier in his career prevented him from registering for classes in time for the winter term, only being able to do it after the Steelers were eliminated in the Wild Card round against the Denver Broncos the previous season.[28] Roethlisberger became the second member of the Steelers in less than a year to return to college and complete his degree, with teammate Troy Polamalu doing the same thing the previous offseason during the 2011 NFL lockout.[206]

In popular culture

The "Roethlisburger"

Exterior window with a sign advertising the sandwich.
Peppi's restaurant, home of the "Roethlisburger".
The sandwich.
The "#7 Roethlisburger".

Roethlisberger is the namesake to multiple sandwiches, which are usually named using a pun on his last name's similarity to "hamburger". For instance, Pittsburgh restaurant chain Peppi's sells the "Roethlisburger", at a price of $7.00, in correlation with his jersey number "7".[207] A Findlay, Ohio, restaurant named Tony's and an Oxford, Ohio, restaurant named Brick Street also sell "Roethlisburger" sandwiches.[208]

He has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, after both of his Super Bowl victories.[209][210] At the 2006 Grammy Awards, one week after Pittsburgh won Super Bowl XL, Roethlisberger introduced Kelly Clarkson.[211][dead link]In 2009 he hosted WWE Raw. He, along with other Steelers players, made a cameo appearance as a member of the Gotham Rogues football team, in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises.[212]

See also

References

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Additional sources

  • Staff (September 2006) "Ben Roethlisberger 1982-" Biography Today 15(3): pp. 102–117

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Larry Fitzgerald
Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year
2004
Succeeded by
Jerome Bettis