On Oct. 3, 2004, Ben Roethlisberger made his first career start at Heinz Field. In a foreshadowing of things to come, the Steelers defeated the Bengals that day behind an extremely efficient game from their rookie quarterback. It was the first of 91 home wins for Roethlisberger, who has won nearly 74% of his home starts as the Steelers’ quarterback.
Roethlisberger recently acknowledged that Monday night will likely be his final game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh could host a wild-card playoff game, but that would require the Steelers to win out and the Bengals to lose their final two games. Given Roethlisberger’s situation, the Steelers’ playoff situation and the fact that they will face a Browns team that knocked Pittsburgh out of the playoffs last season, it will certainly be an electric atmosphere at Heinz Field on Monday night.
Here’s a look at Roethlisberger’s best games from his first 123 starts at Heinz Field.
1. 2009: Week 15 — Steelers 37, Packers 36
Roethlisberger: 29 of 46, 503 yards, 3 TDs
Roethlisberger out-dueled Aaron Rodgers, who threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns including his go-ahead touchdown pass with 2:06 left. The Steelers’ offense responded with a 15-play drive that ended with Roethlisberger’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace on the game’s final play. Five different Steelers had over 70 receiving yards, with Hines Ward and Heath Miller tallying 126 and 118 receiving yards, respectively.
2. 2010: AFC Divisional Round — Steelers 31, Ravens 24
Roethlisberger: 19 of 32, 226 yards, 2 TDs
Down 21-7 at halftime, Roethlisberger engineered three consecutive scoring drives to start the second half that included touchdown passes to Miller and Ward. After the Ravens tied the score, Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown connected on a 58-yard reception that set up Rashard Mendenhall’s game-winning score.
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3. 2016: Week 16 — Steelers 31, Ravens 27
Roethlisberger: 24 of 33, 279 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
On Christmas Day, the Steelers and Ravens dueled in a game that would determine which team would win the AFC North and which team would be staying home for the playoffs. Down 20-10, Roethlisberger engineered two scoring drives that included his go-ahead touchdown pass to Le’Veon Bell with 7:16 left. The Ravens took back the lead with 1:18 left before Roethlisberger hit Brown for the game-winning score with nine seconds left. The touchdown, which is known in Pittsburgh as the “Immaculate Extension,” capped off Pittsburgh’s sixth consecutive win after a 4-5 start. The Steelers would go onto defeat Miami and Kansas City in the playoffs before bowing out to New England in the AFC Championship Game.
4. 2014: Weeks 8 (Steelers 51, Colts 34) & 9 (Steelers 43, Ravens 23)
Roethlisberger vs. Colts: 40 of 49, 522 yards, 6 TDs
Roethlisberger vs. Ravens: 25 of 37, 340 yards, 6 TDs
Pittsburgh’s consecutive mid-season wins in 2014 marked the true beginning of the Killer B era. It was also the first time in NFL history that a quarterback threw for six touchdowns in consecutive games. Against the Colts (a game where the Steelers fittingly wore their throwback “bee” uniforms), Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes to Martavis Bryant while Miller and Brown each went over 100 yards receiving. Bryant caught two more touchdowns against the Ravens, while Brown sprung for 144 yards and a score on 11 receptions. Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh’s No. 3 receiver, caught touchdowns in both games as Roethlisberger was on his way to his first of two league passing titles.
5. 2004: Week 8 — Steelers 34, Patriots 20
Roethlisberger: 18 of 24, 196 yards, 2 TDs
Roethlisberger’s third career home victory snapped the Patriots’ NFL record 21-game winning streak. The win also moved the Steelers to 6-1 in what would ultimately be a 15-1 season. New England took an early 3-0 lead before Roethlisberger responded with a 47-yard touchdown to Plaxico Burress. The two hooked up for another score before the end of the first quarter. Deshea Townsend’s pick-six of Tom Brady gave the Steelers a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Roethlisberger would go onto win Offensive Rookie of the Year while going 13-0 as a starter during the regular season.
6. 2008: AFC Championship — Steelers 23, Ravens 14
Roethlisberger: 16 of 33, 255 yards, 1 TD
Roethlisberger had three memorable performances against Baltimore that season, but his effort with an AFC title at stake was the most notable. His 65-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes gave the Steelers a 13-0 lead. Roethlisberger took care of the football while making up for a running game that was held to 52 yards on 28 carries. Roethlisberger became the third quarterback in franchise history to win an AFC championship at home.
7. 2010: AFC Championship — Steelers 24, Jets 19
Roethlisberger: 10 of 19, 133 yards, 1 rushing TD
Big Ben and the Steelers blitzed the Jets early to the tune of a 24-0 first half lead. Roethlisberger engineered three first half scoring drives against one of the NFL’s top defenses. After the Jets had rallied back to make it a five-point game, Roethlisberger made sure that New York’s wouldn’t get any closer after he hit Brown on a clutch third-down completion that sealed the Steelers’ third Super Bowl appearance in six years.
8. 2015: Week 15: Steelers 34, Broncos 27
Roethlisberger: 40 of 55, 380 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
Down 27-10, Roethlisberger torched the NFL’s top defense with three second half touchdown passes. His 23-yard strike to Brown gave Pittsburgh the lead for good with 3:24 left. Roethlisberger’s biggest mistake — an interception with 2:08 left — was made moot by a Pittsburgh defense that shut out the Broncos during the second half. Denver had no answer for Roethlisberger and Brown, who combined to connect 16 times (on 18 targets) for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
9. 2017: Week 14 — Steelers 39, Ravens 38
Roethlisberger: 44 of 66, 506 yards, 2 TDs
The Steelers were still going through the raw emotions following Ryan Shazier’s injury sustained in Cincinnati a week earlier. In a roller-coaster affair, the Steelers led 17-7 before the Ravens took a 31-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Trailing 36-36, Roethlisberger’s 34-yard completion to Brown (who caught 11 passes for 213 yards) set up Chris Boswell’s game-winning field goal with 46 seconds left. The win clinched the AFC North division title for the Steelers and Roethlisberger, who walked off the field with Shazier’s jersey draped over his left shoulder.
10. 2018: Week 10 — Steelers 52, Panthers 21
Roethlisberger: 22 of 25, 328 yards, 5 TDs
In front of a “Thursday Night Football” audience, Roethlisberger completed 88% of his throws with touchdown passes to five different teammates. Pittsburgh set the tone on Roethlisberger’s 75-yard scoring strike to JuJu Smith-Schuster on its first play from scrimmage. The back-breaking score was Roethlisberger’s 53-yard touchdown pass to Brown that gave the Steelers a 31-14 lead with three minutes left in the third quarter. Roethlisberger would go onto throw for a career-high 5,129 yards while directing a Steelers offense that scored a franchise record 53 touchdowns.
11. 2007: Week 10 — Steelers 31, Browns 28
Roethlisberger: 23 of 34, 278 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Down 21-6, Roethlisberger led the Steelers on four scoring drives that included a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ward, a 30-yard touchdown run and his game-winning, 2-yard touchdown pass to Miller. It was a crucial win for the Steelers, who went on to win the AFC North by virtue of a tiebreaker with the Browns, who missed the playoffs despite having the same record (10-6) as Pittsburgh.
12. 2020: Week 16 — Steelers 28, Colts 24
Roethlisberger: 34 of 49, 341 yards, 3 TDs
Pittsburgh was in jeopardy of losing control of their playoff fate after losing three consecutive games following an 11-0 start. Down 24-7 against the Colts, Roethlisberger’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson gave the Steelers life entering the game’s final stanza. The fourth quarter started with Roethlisberger hitting Eric Ebron for a 5-yard score. On their next drive, Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster for the game-winning score, as the Steelers won the AFC North for the first time since 2017.
13. 2021: Week 13 — Steelers 20, Ravens 19
Roethlisberger: 21 of 31, 236 yards, 2 TDs
After a 5-3 start, the Steelers slipped to 5-5-1 and were in jeopardy of falling out of the playoff picture. Down 13-3 to the Ravens, Roethlisberger led three fourth quarter scoring drives that included two touchdown passes to Johnson, with their second touchdown given Pittsburgh the lead with 1:48 left. The Steelers won the game when T.J. Watt stymied the Ravens’ two-point conversion attempt with 16 seconds left.
14. 2011: Week 8 — Steelers 25, Patriots 17
Roethlisberger: 36 of 50, 365 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Big Ben defeated a Brady-led Patriots team for the first time since his rookie season. Brady threw for just 198 yards, while Roethlisberger completed passes to nine different teammates. Miller led the Steelers with 85 receiving yards, while Brown caught Roethlisberger’s 7-yard touchdown pass that gave Pittsburgh a 17-7 halftime lead. Two second half field goals and Brett Keisel’s safety of Brady sealed Pittsburgh’s third victory over the Patriots under coach Bill Belichick.
15. 2015: Week 9 — Steelers 30, Browns 9
Roethlisberger: 22 of 33, 329 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
This is Roethlisberger’s only career win in relief duty. After injuring his foot in the previous week’s win over the Raiders, Roethlisberger began the game sitting behind Landry Jones. Roethlisberger was summoned into action after Jones suffered an injury early in the first quarter. The Steelers led 6-3 before Roethlisberger’s touchdown passes to Brown and Bryant made it a 21-3 game at halftime. Roethlisberger’s 56-yard touchdown pass to Brown midway through the fourth quarter put the game away.