Last weekend against the Colts, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 6 touchdowns in route to his team getting the 51-34 win against Indianapolis. After setting the Steeler franchise record with that mark, Roethlisberger tied his own mark with his second straight game with 6 touchdown passes. This time, the result was a big 43-23 win against divisional foe Baltimore.
Despite starting cold, Roethlisberger would finish the game 25 of 37 for 340 yards. His first touchdown was a 5-yard pass to Le’Veon Bell in the second quarter, and he followed it up less than two minutes later with a 19-yard pass to Martavis Bryant. After the Ravens scored a field goal just after the two-minute warning, Roethlisberger would find Markus Wheaton for a 47-yard touchdown with just under a minute left on the clock to extend the lead to 21-10.
Big Ben was only halfway done, though both teams would go cold in the third and neither would put points on the scoreboard. On their first possession in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger led a 7-play, 85-yard drive that was capped with a 54-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. The Ravens’ Jacoby Jones would score a 108-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, putting the ball back in Roethlisberger’s hands.
The Steelers then put together another drive that ate 4 minutes off the clock, and Bryant would against score off an 18-yard pass from Roethlisberger as the quarterback notched his fifth on the evening.
After the Ravens finally put together their first touchdown drive since the first quarter when former Colorado State tight end Crockett Gilmore scored on a 1-yard pass from Joe Flacco, Roethlisberger would again march his offense down the field and find the end zone. The sixth touchdown on the evening came just after the two-minute warning, and it gave the Steelers the commanding 43-23 win.
Roethlisberger’s heroic stat line is a huge personal accomplishment, but it’s also equally as important for the Steelers as well. After losing two of their first four games, the Steelers have won four of their last five in impressive fashion. Pittsburgh finds itself with the most wins in the AFC North, though they are still behind Cincinnati from a winning percentage standpoint.
In addition to keeping up with the Bengals, the Steelers were able to put the Ravens at the bottom of the AFC North, as they are statistically behind the Browns. Granted, the Browns have already had their bye week, which the Ravens won’t get until Week 11.
While the Steelers have risen in the standings and power rankings across the league, the Ravens are experiencing opposite results. After winning three of their first four games, they’ve lost their last two against divisional opponents. Baltimore has also dropped to 35/1 odds to win Super Bowl XLIX.
It’s hard to expect the Steelers to keep up with the type of performances they’ve had in recent weeks. However, they certainly have a chance to keep things rolling, as they’ll play the 1-8 Jets next weekend, followed by the 2-6 Titans in Week 11. Be sure to check back with sportspicks.com handicappers for insider tips into these games. The Steelers will then have their bye week, followed by back-to-back challenges against New Orleans and divisional foe Cincinnati.
Not only will the Steelers and Bengals match up in Week 14, but they’ll play again on the final day of the season. If things keep going the way they have been lately, it could be an epic showdown between the Bengals and the Steelers, with the winner potentially playing for a playoff spot on the final day of the season.
In the mean time, we’ll all be keeping an eye on Ben Roethlisberger to see if he can keep up his recent red-hot streak.