A Tribute to Ben Roethlisberger, One of the Greatest Quarterbacks of this Generation

Ethan K.

As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, it seems necessary to look back and reminisce on some of the great moments that “Big” Ben Roethlisberger has brought to this franchise, along with his two Lombardi trophies.

With the matchup against the Cleveland Browns tonight, Roethlisberger may be playing in his final game at Heinz Field.

Let’s take a look at my top five favorite Roethlisberger moments.

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With the clock at zeroes, Roethlisberger heaved this pass to Mike Wallace in the endzone, down six points. Wallace tapped his toes and managed to make the grab, setting up a game-winning Jeff Reed extra point. While it was a major win for a 6-7 Steelers team, the Steelers still did not make the playoffs despite a 9-7 record (Pro-Football-Reference.com). As a result, despite the greatness of the moment from Roethlisberger, this is a little lower on the list.

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While one could say that this is not even a top ten Roethlisberger play of all time, this play is very memorable to me. Up just two points against a 5-0 Kansas City Chiefs team, the Steelers faced a 3rd & 2 from around midfield. Roethlisberger heaved a ball towards Antonio Brown, arguably the best receiver in the NFL at the time, and after being tipped by a Chiefs DB, was snatched by Brown who ran down the sidelines and scored. The touchdown put Pittsburgh in front by a score of 19-10 and was a defining moment for the Steelers who went on to win 10 of their 11 remaining regular season games (Pro-Football-Reference.com).

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This is another one of those plays that I can perfectly remember watching live. Down five points to the Dallas Cowboys in the 4th quarter, Roethlisberger was running a hurry-up offense. With just under 50 seconds left in the game, and with just one timeout remaining, Roethlisberger ran up to the line as if he was going to spike the football to stop the clock. Instead, he faked the spike and lofted a beautiful pass to Antonio Brown in the corner of the endzone to put Pittsburgh in front. Unfortunately, the Steelers would lose the game after conceding a last-gasp touchdown from Dallas. Regardless, this play was beautiful as is deservingly high on this list.

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In a divisional playoff game, the Steelers had a three point lead over Indianapolis, late in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger handed the ball off to Jerome Bettis, but Indianapolis forced a fumble on Bettis, a very rare occurrence. Indianapolis DB Nick Harper scooped up the ball and looked like he was going to score, putting Indianapolis ahead. However, Roethlisberger, the last man for Harper to beat, dove at Harper’s legs and made arguably the greatest shoestring tackle in NFL history. The play saved the Steelers season, one in which they would finish as Super Bowl championships.

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I don’t think any Steelers fans could disagree that Roethlisberger’s game-winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII is the greatest moment in Roethlisberger’s career. Not only that, but it is one of the greatest plays in NFL history. With the stress of the Super Bowl on the line, Roethlisberger managed to fit a throw to Holmes in overtop of three defenders. Holmes managed to tap his feet and secure the football, sealing the Steelers sixth Super Bowl ring.


It will be emotional for many loyal Steeler fans to see Roethlisberger leave the team.

A humble man and player, Roethlisberger constantly volunteered in the community around Pittsburgh and personally hosted youth football camps — two of which I attended.

Roethlisberger will leave us with two Super Bowl championships, the 2004 Offensive Rookie of the Year, six Pro Bowls, and a lasting impact on the city of Pittsburgh and their fans.