The Ben Roethlisberger Story: A Return to Greatness

TJ JenkinsAnalyst IApril 14, 2009

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 16: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks on the field during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Heinz Field December 16, 2007 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Jaguars won 29-22. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

So, 2006 wasn’t exactly a fun or successful year for the Pittsburgh Steelers or Ben Roethlisberger. 2007, however, was a whole different matter and a whole new year, a new opportunity if you will.

2007 was the year that Ben shined above all expectations, throwing 32 touchdown passes and breaking the Steelers team record for touchdown passes in a season.

Roethlisberger opened the season in Cleveland, throwing four touchdowns in a blowout of the rival Browns.

Come Week 10, he would orchestrate a come from behind win at home to beat the Browns for the second time in 2007.

Ben also did the unthinkable that season, posting two perfect quarterback ratings. The first came in week nine against the Baltimore Ravens, when he threw five touchdowns to no interceptions. The second was in a rout of the St. Louis Rams, with Ben throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions.

He is the only quarterback in NFL history to record two perfect passer ratings in the same season.

The Steelers were once more in the playoffs under Ben Roethlisberger’s guidance. Of course, one could argue that it’s only fair to refer to him as "Pro Bowler Ben Roethlisberger", since he earned his first appearance in 2007.

In the first round of the 2007 playoffs the Steelers had to play the Jacksonville Jaguars in Pittsburgh.

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He proceeded to throw three interceptions in the first half, due to the Jaguars defense not having to focus on the Steelers running game because of the injury to running back Willie Parker.

Roethlisberger completely played lights out in the second half however, putting up 263 yards and two touchdowns in the half, taking the lead 29-28.

Though the Steelers failed twice to convert for two points in the fourth quarter, they still held the lead.

Then the heart-breaker. Jaguars quarterback David Garrard scrambled for 32 yards on fourth down to get his team in position to kick the game winning field goal, which they did.

The score was then 31-29. Had the Steelers kicked the extra points both times in the fourth quarter instead of going for two, the game would be 31-31 and more than likely heading to overtime. Hindsight’s 20-20 though, I suppose.

Roethlisberger had one more chance to shine in 2007, but failed to do so, fumbling with under a minute to go in the game. It was a tough one to lose from a Steelers fan's perspective. There would be no sixth ring in Pittsburgh this year.

No one talks about Roethlisberger’s touchdown numbers in 2007 simply because New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw 50 of them that season, en route to a Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants, after going undefeated up to that point.

Better luck next year? We’ll find out.

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