PITTSBURGH -- He passed Terry Bradshaw for the most touchdown passes in Pittsburgh Steelers history Sunday at snowy Heinz Field. He posted a passer rating that exceeded 100 for the 56th time during the regular season, and he is on track to set career highs for passing touchdowns and passing yards in a season.
Ben Roethlisberger, by just about any metric, is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season except the one that matters most to the veteran quarterback: his win-loss record.
Roethlisberger is 5-8 this season after a disappointing 34-28 loss to the Dolphins and what probably hurt most for the 10th-year veteran is he couldn’t rally his team despite getting the ball twice in the fourth quarter with the Steelers trailing.
When asked where the loss ranks in terms of heartbreak, Roethlisberger said, "A lot. That’s kind of a silly question. Sorry."
Roethlisberger had every reason to be disappointed after another game in which he put up big numbers.
His greatness has been defined by moments, not statistics and Roethlisberger simply hasn’t delivered enough of the former this season as well as he has played.
It can be argued that the Steelers have not done enough to help Roethlisberger -- both on and off the field -- and that they have even wasted a season from a franchise quarterback in his prime. That won’t ease the sting of losing for a quarterback who will experience back-to-back non-winning seasons for the first time in his career.
The Steelers are clearly a team in transition, and a lot of change is coming during the offseason. How much turnover remains to be seen, and Roethlisberger passed when given a chance to weigh in on whether the Steelers need to make wholesale changes following back-to-back non-winning seasons for the first time since 1998-99.
"I’m not going to answer that question," Roethlisberger said. "We are just going to give it everything we have every day. There isn’t going to be any quit from anybody."
It is not in Roethlisberger's DNA to pack it in even if the Steelers aren’t playing for much more than pride the rest of the season.
One of the biggest questions that will be answered over the final three games is how many of his teammates follow Roethlisberger’s lead.