The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off an important upset in the first week of the season against the Buffalo Bills, but have not looked like the same team since. They now find themselves with a 1-3 record after falling to the Green Bay Packers 27-17 in week four at Lambeau Field.
It wasn’t all bad news though on Sunday for fans of the Steelers, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw his 400th career touchdown pass when he found Diontae Johnson with a perfect 45-yard spiral. He is now just the eighth quarterback in National Football League history to reach the benchmark. He joins a list that includes three current Hall of Famers, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and Brett Favre.
“I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve had some really good games, some really bad games. Some good years, some bad years,” Roethlisberger told members of the media following Sunday’s disappointing loss.
“I still love to play this game. I love what it is. Even when losing the game stinks, there’s still something to it. There’s something to the comeback story. There’s something to the rebound. There’s something to looking in a guy’s eyes and telling him I appreciate his effort today.”
The 39-year-old has spent his entire 18-year career in Pittsburgh, after the club selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has helped lead the Steelers to two Super Bowl titles during his time with the organization, with the last one coming in 2008. He has been named to the Pro Bowl on seven different occasions and led the NFL in passing yards in 2014 and 2018.
Despite all his success in Pittsburgh though, the Steelers have been struggling mightily in recent weeks and there are questions starting to be asked as to whether the organization needs to move on from Roethlisberger and start to look to the future.
“It’s just one of those things, when we lay our head down at night, can we say we’re proud of our performance?” the quarterback continued. “If not, how do we make adjustments and changes and make it so that the next time we come out, we are proud of our performance?”
This is just the second time in his career that Roethlisberger finds himself with a 1-3 record heading into the fifth week of the season. Things don’t get any easier for the Steelers either as they get set to host the 3-1 Denver Broncos, who are coming off their first loss of the season next Sunday.
There is no doubt that Roethlisberger is one of the all-time greats and will end up in the NFL Hall of Fame one day, but Steelers fans can’t help but think of the team’s current situation and what they need to do to recapture the AFC North Division title for the second consecutive season. It remains to be seen whether Roethlisberger still has what it takes to guide Pittsburgh out of turmoil, but time is quickly running out for the aging veteran.