By Teresa Varley
A disappointed Ben Roethlisberger stood in the Steelers locker room after the Colts game and carried the blame for the team's 24-20 loss on his sore shoulder.
"If this was an individual sport and I lost a game I wouldn't feel so bad," said Roethlisberger. "Letting the guys down; letting your teammates down. It hurts because, you never hear me say I anything, but I lost this game and it hurts."
Roethlisberger started against the Colts after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a sore shoulder that he aggravated against the Redskins. He finished the game 30 of 42 for 284 yards, but the Colts intercepted Roethlisberger three times, and their offense was able to capitalize and turn them into 14 points.
In the first half, with a 17-7 lead, Roethlisberger looked for Santonio Holmes but Keiwan Ratliff intercepted the pass at the Steelers 32-yard line and returned it two yards. Peyton Manning took advantage and drove the Colts down for a two-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark to send the game into the half 17-14.
In the fourth quarter, while trying to protect a 20-17 lead, Roethlisberger again looked for Holmes and was intercepted by Tim Jennings and the Colts capitalized again.
Roethlisberger said both interceptions were on him.
"The first one was to the three step and I couldn't find it and then once I found it, it was too late and I shouldn't have thrown it," said Roethlisberger. "The second one, I thought he was coming under, and I made the mistake and threw it to him quick, and his route was a return route. I made a mistake. It was just a mistake on my part. I thought he was going to keep coming and he did what he was supposed to do. He was supposed to stop and go back out, and I tried to get it to him quick and I forgot he was going back out."
Roethlisberger, who missed the second half of the Redskins game because of the shoulder, practiced only on Friday of last week. He said that wasn't a problem, though and it didn't contribute to his play.
"I don't think it's that big of an issue," said Roethlisberger. "I'm taking mental notes and I'm seeing everything that is going on so it's not as tough as it may seem. I'm not executing, and I'm not doing it well."
Roethlisberger is hoping to quickly shake off the loss as the team prepares to take on the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field this week.
"It's frustrating because you feel like you played well and the turnover at the end of the half, and the turnover at the end, it's frustrating," said Roethlisberger. "When you feel like it is your fault, it really hurts. I take it on myself, I let the guys down, offense and defense, but the good thing is that it is not the end of the season, we'll come back."