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Player of the Week

Ben is Digest Player of the Week



The Pittsburgh Steelers were in a tough spot with respect to this game against the Indianapolis Colts, and in a bad spot with respect to their season. They needed someone to lead a rally, someone they could rally around. Once again, that someone was Ben Roethlisberger.

Staring at a 21-7 halftime deficit that grew to 24-7 on the first possession of the third quarter, things seemed as bleak for the Steelers as they had been at any point during this COVID-infested NFL regular season. Then Roethlisberger brought them back.

"I've been watching Ben like you guys have for 17 years, man," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "Half a game is not going to define him. He's a competitor. As long as there's time on the clock, he's going to keep coming at you."

During a 10-and-a-half-minute span in the second half, Roethlisberger threw three touchdowns passes while completing 23-of-29 (79.3 percent) for 244 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 136.2 during the game's final 30 minutes to lead the Steelers to a 28-24 victory over the Colts that clinched the AFC North Division title for them.

Over the full 60 minutes, he completed 34-of-49 (69.4 percent) for 342 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 109.4. Roethlisberger is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.

The victory was far from a one-man show, but there's no argument that Roethlisberger was the linchpin for what happened during the turnaround. It's what great quarterbacks do for their teams, and Roethlisberger showed once again why he deserves to be recognized as a great quarterback.

Also considered were T.J. Watt, who finished with three tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble that Mike Hilton recovered and returned to set up the Steelers first half touchdown; JuJu Smith-Schuster, who caught nine passes for 96 yards, including the 25-yard touchdown that provided the deciding points; Hilton, who in addition to that fumble recovery had four tackles and an interception; Diontae Johnson, who had eight receptions for 75 yards, including a diving catch for a 39-yard touchdown that started the second-half rally; Stephon Tuitt, who had two tackles and a key second-half sack; Cam Heyward, who had five tackles and a sack; and Avery Williamson, who had a team-high 14 tackles and a sack.