The era of Big Ben is not officially over yet, but the clock is about to strike midnight.
Sunday’s AFC North showdown between the Steelers and Ravens could be the last chance for Pittsburgh fans to see Ben Roethlisberger in action. He has not stated that he will retire after the conclusion of the 2021 season, but said before the team’s Week 17 game against the Browns that “all signs” point in that direction.
The Steelers will need three things to happen to make the playoffs: a win over the Ravens, a Colts loss to the Jaguars, and anything but a draw in the Chargers-Raiders game. If the Steelers don’t get the help they need, Sunday’s game would likely mark the end of an NFL career spanning 18 seasons, all of which came with the franchise that selected Roethlisberger in the first round of the NFL Draft from 2004.
Before Roethlisberger dons the Steelers jersey for what could be the last time, let’s take a look at his stats for this season and his entire career.
Ben Roethlisberger’s 2021 Season Stats
Unless he has a monster performance in Week 18, Roethlisberger will end up with one of the less impressive stats from his nearly two-decade tenure with the Steelers. Through 15 games, Roethlisberger has thrown for 3,496 yards, a total that wouldn’t be among his top 10 seasons. He is also at his career-low mark in yards per attempt (6.2) excluding the 2019 season in which he played just two games.
The numbers aren’t that surprising considering Roethlisberger is less than two months away from his 40th birthday and has dealt with several major injuries over the years. This version of Roethlisberger just doesn’t have the same level of athleticism and arm strength as the main Big Ben.
(All current stats as of week 17)
|% completion||64.2 (360-561)|
|yards per attempt||6.2|
|yards per game||233.1|
|Comebacks in the fourth quarter||5|
|Game winning units||6|
Ben Roethlisberger’s career stats with Steelers
Despite a difficult final stage, Roethlisberger had an incredible overall race. He ranks fifth on the all-time passing yards list behind only Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. He also ranks in the top five on the all-time charts for completions and attempts, and ranks eighth on the all-time list for touchdown passes.
Perhaps the most salient stat of Roethlisberger’s career: 40 fourth-quarter comebacks, the third-most in NFL history. He sits only behind Peyton Manning (43) and Tom Brady (42) in that category.
(All current stats as of week 17)
|% completion||64.4 (5,410-8,399)|
|yards per attempt||7.6|
|yards per game||257.4|
|Comebacks in the fourth quarter||40|
|Game winning units||52|
Praise for Ben Roethlisberger’s career
- Two-time Super Bowl champion: Roethlisberger struggled in Super Bowl XL, completing just nine passes for 123 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He fared much better in Super Bowl XLIII, racking up 256 passing yards and hitting Santonio Holmes in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
- Six times Pro Bowler: Roethlisberger earned Pro Bowl nominations in 2007, 2011 and 2014-17. His 2007 and 2014 seasons were his best individual seasons in terms of quarterback rating.
- Two-time NFL leader in passing yards: Roethlisberger threw for 4,952 yards in 2014 and 5,129 yards in 2018. He also led the league in completions and attempts in 2018.
- NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Roethlisberger originally sat behind Tommy Maddox during his rookie season, but after Maddox suffered an injury in the second game of the 2004 season, Roethlisberger became a starter. He finished 13-0 in the regular season, totaling 2,261 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.