It was only fitting that Ben Roethlisberger would extend his career in this manner. It seems fairly perfect, given the arc of his career and the legacy he left for extending plays and always keeping hope alive, that he would walk off the field in Baltimore, beating his bitter rivals on another walk-off win, in overtime, in pouring rain, and doing it by overcoming a litany of third-and-forever and fourth-and-forever to get it done.
While Big Ben was ending the Ravens’ season with a sixth straight defeat (and pathetic 1-5 record within the AFC North), he was getting help where few expected. The Jaguars, somehow, took it to the Colts for all four quarters in Jacksonville on a day when most Jags fans showed up to protest their owner. Everything has fallen into place, and the future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback boarded a plane back home knowing that as long as the Chargers and Raiders didn’t tie in the final game of the season, he was going to the playoffs. That Sunday night game perhaps came closer to that tie than he or the Steelers would have preferred, but in the end they got what they needed.
It’s been quite a week, even by Big Ben’s lofty standards. Last Monday night he ended whatever remained of the Browns season, and he received a hero’s send-off at Heinz Field, with the entire football world watching, in what almost certainly was his final home game. Then six days later, after yet another astonishingly slow start for the Steelers and despite losing do-everything running back Najee Harris for much of the day, he executed yet another miracle fourth-quarterback comeback before finishing the deal in overtime.
He pulled something out of nothing, again. Again, nothing could have been more fitting.
The Steelers entered the fourth quarter going 1-for-9 on third and fourth downs and sputtering to do anything at all, amassing just 126 net yards on 38 plays through the first…