Roethlisberger won his 100th career game in grand fashion,
setting team records with 522 passing yards and six touchdown tosses
to guide the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 51-34 win over the
Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field on Sunday.
"There are a lot of great quarterbacks who have played this game,"
said Roethlisberger, the first player in NFL history with multiple
500-yard passing game. "I'm honored to be mentioned in the same
breath as some of those guys.
"The guys up front gave me all kinds of time and some other guys
caught balls downfield and made some plays. But we still left some
plays out there. I missed some passes. ... There's still a lot we
can improve on."
Roethlisberger completed a career-best 40 of 49 passes and his 522
passing yards tied for the fourth-highest total in NFL history.
Andrew Luck of the Colts had 400 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Indianapolis, coming off of a shutout of the Cincinnati Bengals last
week, made it a one-possession game, 42-34, with a pair of
touchdowns 57 seconds apart to end the third quarter but the
Steelers kept the accelerator to the floor.
The 51 points were the most scored by the Steelers (5-3) during
coach Mike Tomlin's eight seasons as coach. The AFC South-leading
Colts (5-3) had their five-game winning streak snapped. The teams
combined for 85 points, most in the NFL this season.
Roethlisberger had a 150.6 passer rating and tossed a pair of
touchdown passes to rookie Martavis Bryant, covering 2 and 5 yards,
and another pair of 47 and 8 yards to Antonio Brown, who led the
team with 10 receptions for 133 yards.
Roethlisberger's other TD passes were an 18-yarder to Markus Wheaton
and an 11-yarder to tight end Heath Miller, who had more than 100
yards receiving Sunday and also in Roethlisberger's 503-yard passing
effort at Green Bay on Dec. 20, 2009.
"Ben is a great quarterback," Bryant said. "He's an awesome leader.
I'm very happy for him, very proud of him and the way he played."
Roethlisberger completed 23 of 27 passes for 320 yards and four
touchdowns before halftime as the Steelers rallied from an early 3-0
deficit to take a 35-20 halftime lead.
Wheaton's touchdown catch was the first of his career. Bryant, a
rookie, has three TD catches in the past two games after being
inactive the first six. Brown pushed his total to a team-leading
seven TD with another 100-yard receiving game.
Pittsburgh cornerback William Gay stepped in front of a Luck pass
intended for Colts wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and returned the
interception 33 yards for a touchdown in the first half.
Luck, who went over 300 yards for the sixth consecutive game,
completed 26 of 45 passes but was intercepted twice and sacked
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"Give credit to them, they outplayed us today," Luck said. "From our
perspective, you kill yourself by throwing a pick-six and the safety
in the end zone.
"But they forced us to do that, so give credit to their defense for
forcing us into some mistakes. I'm proud of our guys' fight, but it
was a tough one."
With the Colts within a possession after recovering a fumble, Luck
surrendered a safety to the Steelers with an intentional grounding
call in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Luck had TD passes of 31 yards to wide receiver Donte Moncrief, 28
yards T.Y. Hilton and 21 yards to tight end Dwayne Allen.
Ahmad Bradshaw scored on a 12-yard run for the Colts and Adam
Vinatieri also kicked field goals of 31 and 23 yards.
"We tried everything," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "We threw
everything at them we had. They picked it all up. They made the
plays and we didn't."
NOTES: Roethlisberger passed for more than 300 yards in the first
half for the first time in his career. He also had a pooch punt
blocked. ... Of the 15 all-time 500-yard games, the top performances
in history were by Norm Van Brocklin (Rams), 554, vs. New York
Yanks, 1951; Warren Moon (Oilers), 527, vs. Chiefs, 1990; Matt
Schaub (Texans), 527, vs. Jaguars, 2012; Boomer Esiason (Cardinals),
522, vs. Redskins, 1996 and Roethlisberger, who is the only
quarterback with two 500-yard games. ... Steelers ILB Ryan Shazier
(sprained knee) returned after a four-game absence and got the
start. ... WR Hakeem Nicks started in place of injured Colts WR
Reggie Wayne (elbow), who did not dress. ... Steelers RB Le'Veon
Bell injured his right ankle in the second quarter, but he returned.
... Colts CB Vontae Davis injured his knee in the first quarter and
did not return. ... Colts OLB Erik Walden suffered a hip injury and
did not return. ... Pittsburgh will welcome the Baltimore Ravens
next Sunday, while Indianapolis plays the New York Giants on Monday
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