PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger enjoyed a career day on the way to joining an exclusive fraternity.
Roethlisberger picked apart the Colts’ secondary in outdueling Andrew Luck, completing 40-of-49 passes for 522 yards and six touchdowns.
“I said earlier that he is a first ballot Hall of Famer in my opinion,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said after the Steelers ended his team’s five-game winning streak. “He’s unbelievably accurate. He’s big. He’s strong he makes all the throws. You have to be able to get him on the ground.”
The Colts did not sack Roethlisberger one time and he flattened them in just about every way imaginable.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Roethlisberger completed eight of 11 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns on throws that covered at least 15 yards and he became the first quarterback in NFL history with multiple 500-yard passing games.
Roethlisberger not only eclipsed his previous single-game high of 503 passing yards in beating the Colts, the 11th-year veteran also won his 100th game in his 150th career start.
“That was brought to my attention this week,” Roethlisberger said of the milestone he reached. “I’ve been so blessed to play on some great football teams and to be a part of a great franchise. To have my name on a list with the others guys up there is a humbling honor.”
The Colts entered the game with a five-game winning streak and fresh off a shut out of the Cincinnati Bengals. But they were no match against Roethlisberger, who threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns in the first two quarters while leading the Steelers to a 35-20 halftime lead.
That was the most yards that Roethlisberger has over thrown for in a half, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“Just a tremendous efforts by a lot of people but obviously Ben was the guy tonight,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after his team improved to 5-3 at the midway point of the season. “This was a timely (performance) and a much-needed one given the staggering statistics that Andrew Luck and their group was putting up. It was necessary for our group to match their group from that standpoint and we challenged Ben and the offense all week to do it and they responded.”
Roethlisberger and Luck combined for 922 passing yards but the latter also threw a pair of interceptions — Steelers cornerback William Gay returned the first one 33 yards for a touchdown — and also took a critical safety after tripping over the feet of one of his offensive linemen and throwing the ball from the end zone as he was falling to the ground.
The Colts were penalized for intentional grounding on the play and the automatic safety gave the Steelers a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Roethlisberger, following the ensuing kickoff, led a 12-play, 67-yard drive that he capped with an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Heath Miller. The Colts never threatened the rest of the way.
“We just came out and put up a really nice team effort,” Roethlisberger said. “This was offense, defense and special teams, coaches, this was everybody and why does it have to stop here? Why can’t we keep doing this?”
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