As he has done time and time again in his career, when Ben Roethlisberger has needed to step up he did just that.
The Steelers went into Monday night's game against the Buccaneers in need of a win, and Roethlisberger went above and beyond to do his part to help secure one.
Roethlisberger completed 30 of 38 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns, with a quarterback rating of 120.7.
His performance not only helped lead the team to a 30-27 win over Tampa Bay, the Steelers first of the young season, it earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. It is the 16th time in his career that he has won the honor.
"What a crazy game," said Roethlisberger after the game. "We will take a win any way we can get it. I am proud of the way the guys fought all the way until the end."
Roethlisberger hit Vance McDonald in the first quarter for a 75-yard touchdown, when McDonald stiff-armed the defender to the ground and took off to the end zone for the Steelers first touchdown of the night.
"He catches the ball, throws a guy to the ground and goes 70-some yards," said Roethlisberger of the play. "That's a big play for us, it's good to have another weapon out there to complement Jesse (James) and some of the other guys.
"I didn't get to see the actual stiff arm. I know when they went in cross motion I saw Vance was going to be open. I knew what route he was running and I was kind of saying like, 'Hurry Vance, turn your head, turn your head.' Got him the ball and then it kind of got jumbled in front of me with the line and stuff. That's what we want to see from Vance, that's what we expect from Vance, that's what we know he can do so that's an awesome feeling to have him out there doing those kinds of things."
Roethlisberger's second touchdown of the night went to Antonio Brown on a 27-yard pass, and his final one capped an impressive drive right before halftime.
Roethlisberger went to work starting at his own 25-yard line with 1:15 to play and three timeouts. He completed eight of nine passes for 74 yards, including a one-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Switzer, sending the Steelers into the half ahead, 30-10, a lead they would never relinquish.
"I wish it would work like that every time," said Roethlisberger of the drive. "That's big for us, right? Knowing that you've got to get points, you've got three timeouts, minute and some change. To take it down the field like we did against that defense that was throwing some different looks at us, just proud of the way everybody stepped up – linemen – because that's a big tempo. We're moving quick and a lot of guys got involved on that drive as well as all night. A lot of people made plays.
"I told the team afterwards that was a total team win, all the phases, and that's what Steelers football is about."