Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has his eyes firmly on a potential Super Bowl title with his team this season, but he made some individual history in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
According to SportsCenter, Roethlisberger passed Terry Bradshaw for the most playoff passing yards in franchise history.
ESPN Stats & Info provided the numbers behind the accomplishment and noted Roethlisberger's 132 passing yards in the first half gave him 3,845 in his postseason career.
According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Bradshaw posted 3,833 passing yards and 30 touchdown throws in 19 playoff games throughout his career. He also helped lead the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles and was 14-5 in the postseason as the quarterback of the team.
Sunday was only Roethlisberger’s 17th postseason game, and he was 11-5 in the postseason as the quarterback before the matchup with the Broncos. While he passed Bradshaw’s yardage totals, Big Ben was well short in the touchdown-pass category with only 22 in those initial 16 playoff games.
He is also two short of Bradshaw in the most important category—Super Bowl rings.
Roethlisberger’s accomplishments are impressive, especially because quarterbacks are judged by their ability to rack up numbers in the biggest moments, but there is something to be said for the difference in the game in today’s day and age.
Because of various rule changes and the overall skill sets of wide receivers, the NFL has become a much more passing-oriented league. In fact, Roethlisberger has thrown more than 400 passing attempts in a season nine different times in his career and more than 500 attempts four times (he even threw the ball 608 times in 2014).
As for Bradshaw, he threw the ball more than 400 times twice as the Steelers' quarterback from 1970-83, and he never attempted more than 472 passes in a single season.
Still, Roethlisberger deserves recognition, especially because he was limited by an injured throwing shoulder coming into Sunday’s game when he set the record.
Roethlisberger may have more seasons in the rearview mirror than ahead of him with his 34th birthday approaching in March, but he figures to add to his franchise-record total over the coming years. The passing-first approach isn’t going anywhere fast in the NFL, and Big Ben has a talented receiving corps around him that features Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton.
The next Steelers quarterback will have even more postseason yardage to throw for if he hopes to remove Roethlisberger’s name from the Pittsburgh record book.