INDIANAPOLIS – Earlier this week, quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner referred to the role Ben Roethlisberger has assumed is that of a point guard in basketball, with the implication being that he is now a distributor of the ball. There were times today against the Colts when Roethlisberger was distributing the ball, but there were other times, particularly in the second half, when he looked like the guy he was a decade ago. Shrugging off tacklers, moving around in the pocket, extending the play until he could find someone to get the ball to.
Which is why the Steelers came back from a 17-3 deficit to score 17 unanswered points in the final quarter-and-a-half to defeat the Colts, 20-17, at Lucas Oil Field.
Roethlisberger is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
As the Colts were building that 17-3 lead through the first couple of minutes of the second half, Roethlisberger completed 7-of-15 for 72 yards, with no touchdowns, one interception, and a rating of 33.2. He also was sacked once. In the second half, he completed 12-of-16 (75 percent) for 164 yards, with two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 146.9. He was not sacked in the second half, but that's not to say there weren't occasions where he was under some pressure, and also his those statistics don't reflect the two-point conversion pass he completed to Martavis Bryant from the 7-yard line that tied the game, 17-17, with 11:52 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Also considered were Bryant, who caught three passes for 42 yards, but like Roethlisberger, the catch he made for the game-tying two-point conversion isn't reflected there. Bryant also turned a short pass into a 19-yard gain and got out of bounds to convert a third-and-4 with 53 second left on the game-winning field goal drive; Ryan Shazier, who led the team with seven tackles, had a key interception in the fourth quarter to set up the touchdown before the two-point conversion, and two passes defensed; JuJu Smith Schuster, who had five catches for 97 yards and a touchdown; Jordan Berry, who averaged 49.5 yards on his six punts and did a good enough job with hang-time and directional kicking to allow the Steelers to finish with a 46.7-yard net average; and Stephon Tuitt, who had three tackles, one of the team's three sacks, and four total hits on the quarterback.