Player of the Week

Ben is Digest Player of the Week


Based on the way the score and the statistics look on a sheet of paper, he didn't do much. But professional football isn't played on a sheet of paper, and beyond that whatever Ben Roethlisberger did on Sunday in Baltimore against the Ravens came in situations when his team needed it the most. The Steelers needed a win over the Ravens to have a chance to qualify for the AFC playoffs, and as he had done so many times during his 18-season career, Roethlisberger delivered for his team in pursuit of victory.

Roethlisberger finished the game by completing 30-of-44 (68.2 percent) for 244 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, and a rating of 80.1, but those are simply statistics on a sheet of paper. The first half ended in a 3-3 tie, and the Steelers trailed, 10-6, going into the fourth quarter, but Roethlisberger took over from there.

He moved the offense 50 yards in 10 plays and got it into the end zone on a 6-yard pass to Chase Claypool, and then in overtime after a stop by the Steelers defense, Roethlisberger drove the offense 65 yards in 15 plays to set up Chris Boswell for the 36-yard field goal that gave the Steelers a 16-13 victory in overtime to end the regular season at 9-7-1.

"He made a couple plays against man coverage, I think, [in] critical situations that were key," said Ravens Coach John Harbaugh about Roethlisberger. "Then when he made the last one, he found it against zone [coverage]. He just made some throws, and they made some catches in critical situations."

Roethlisberger is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.

Also considered were Claypool, who ran three times for 33 yards and had five catches for 37 yards (7.3 average) and the Steelers' only touchdown; Terrell Edmunds, who had three tackles, an interception, and three passes defensed; Cam Sutton, who had five tackles and an interception in the end zone; Chris Boswell, who kicked field goals of 28, 40, and 36 yards; T.J. Watt, who had five tackles, a sack that tied the NFL's all-time single-season record of 22.5, a pass defensed, and a forced fumble; Minkah Fitzpatrick, who had six tackles, and a pass defensed with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter that would have put the Ravens into position for a Justin Tucker field goal that would have ended the game; and Cam Heyward, who had six tackles and a sack, his 10th of the season.

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