Over the years the Steelers have learned to play quite a bit without franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, as starting with his second season in the league in 2005, there’s only been three of 13 seasons that Big Ben has played in every game.
While the team prepares for yet another game without Ben, today we take a glance back at the teams results over his career without Ben, and how the team has played without him.
2005 – Missed Four Regular Season Games
10/16 Vs Jacksonville 23-17 OT Loss – A Tommy Maddox overtime pick six sealed the Steelers fate as they fell to 3-2 on the season. Maddox was booed off the field as he was awful, throwing three picks and he threw for just 154 yards and Heath Miller’s first career TD.
11/6 At Green Bay 20-10 Win – The defense did most of the heavy lifting with Charlie Batch throwing for just 65 yards in the 10-point win over Brett Favre and the Packers at Lambeau Field. Troy Polamalu took back a Favre fumble for a score.
11/13 Vs Cleveland 34-21 Win – Charlie Batch, Tommy Maddox and even Antwaan Randle El all threw passes in the Steelers 13-point win, with the key throw being Randle El’s TD pass to Hines Ward on a reverse from 51 yards out to make it 24-7 in the third quarter.
11/20 At Baltimore 16-13 OT Loss – A freaky pass that was kicked in the air by Hines Ward was picked off by the Ravens in overtime, and Baltimore quickly moved into field goal range for the win. Maddox started, and was 19-for-36 for 230 yards with a TD and pick in the setback.
2006 – Missed One Regular Season Game
9/7 Vs Miami 28-17 Win – After an emergency appendectomy forced Ben to the sidelines, Charlie Batch got the start and took advantage of it, throwing for three scores as the Steelers beat Miami 28-17. Batch was mistake free, throwing for 209 yards in the win.
2007 – Missed One Regular Season Game
12/30 At Baltimore 27-21 Loss – With nothing to gain the Steelers sat Ben in the final regular season game, and they lost to Baltimore 27-21. Charlie Batch started, and threw for 218 yards, with two touchdowns and two picks in the six-point loss. The Steelers were never really in the game, trailing 27-7 in the third quarter.
2009 – Missed One Regular Season Game
11/29 At Baltimore 20-17 OT Loss – Dennis Dixon made his debut for the Steelers, and a costly OT pick allowed the Ravens to kick a game-winning field goal. Dixon was 12-for-26 for 145 yards with a TD pass and the pick. He also ran for a 24-yard score to give the Steelers a 17-14 fourth quarter lead.
2010 – Missed Four Regular Season Games
9/12 Vs Atlanta 15-9 OT Win – Dennis Dixon started the opener for the Steelers, and a Rashard Mendenhall overtime 50-yard run gave the team the win. Dixon was 18-for-26 for 236 yards with a pick, and he ran for four yards in the win.
9/19 At Tennessee 19-11 Win – Week 2 saw Dixon start again, but the defense was the story, as Antonio Brown took back the opening kick for a score, and the D stepped up against Vince Young and Kerry Collins for an 8-point win. Dixon went 4-for-6 for 18 yards, and then Charlie Batch was 5-for-11 for 25 yards in relief after Dixon was hurt.
9/26 At Tampa Bay 38-13 Win – Batch led the team to a 3-0 start as he was sensational, throwing for 186 yards and three scores as the Steelers rolled over the Bucs to remain undefeated.
10/3 Vs Baltimore 17-14 Loss – The final game of Roethlisberger’s four-game suspension was started by Batch, and while he got the Steelers to a 14-10 lead late, the Ravens won the game with :32 ticks left as Joe Flacco hit T.J. Houshmandzadeh with an 18-yard TD pass. Batch was 12-for-21 for 141 yards with a pick in the loss.
2011 – Missed One Regular Season Game
12/24 Vs St.Louis Rams 27-0 Win – The Steelers celebrated Christmas with Charlie Batch helping them to a shutout win over the awful Rams at home. Batch handed off most of the day, but when called upon was 15-for-22 for 208 yards and a pick in the blowout win.
2012 – Missed Three Regular Season Games
11/18 Vs Baltimore 13-10 Loss – Byron Leftwich got the start, and other than a 31-yard TD run to start the game did little, as he was 18-for-39 for 199 yards with a pick, as the Ravens controlled most of the game and pulled out the three-point win at Heinz Field.
11/25 At Cleveland 20-14 Loss – The Steelers committed 8 turnovers, and it was too much as they fell by six to the Browns in Cleveland. Charlie Batch got the start, and was 20-for-34 for 199 yards, but was picked three times. The Steelers fumbled it away five times, and overall they shot themselves in the foot all day.
12/2 At Baltimore 23-20 Win – Shaun Suisham’s 42-yard field goal at the buzzer was enough, as Batch pulled off a gutsy effort in his final game as a starter, overcoming a 7-point deficit to get the Steelers a huge road win. Batch threw for 276 yards, and led the team on a game-winning drive on the road against their biggest rival in the final minutes.
2015 – Missed Four Regular Season Games
10/1 Vs Baltimore 23-20 Loss – Mike Vick on a one practice had the team in a position to win, but two Justin Tucker fourth quarter field goals, and another in OT was enough for the Ravens to get a win. Vick was 19-for-26 for 124 yards with a score, but some questionable play calling in OT killed any shot the team had, and Josh Scobee’s missed field goal could have easily put the game away.
10/12 At San Diego 24-20 Win – Vick’s gutsy effort and the decision to go for the win at the one-yard line on the game’s final play pulled out the four-point win on Monday night in San Diego. Vick wasn’t very good most of the night, but threw a 72-yard bomb to Markus Wheaton to tie the game at 17, and then pulled out a couple key plays on the final drive to set up the Le’Veon Bell one-yard run for the win. Vick was 13-for-26 for 203 yards, and ran for 24 yards, all on the final drive on one play.
10/18 Vs Arizona 25-13 Win – The offense did little with Vick, and he left the game with an injury, opening the door for Landry Jones to come in and be an hero, as he threw for 168 yards and two scores to lead the Steelers to a win over a team that made the NFC Title Game. Jones brought the Steelers back from down 10-3 at half and scored 22 second half points in the huge win.\
10/25 At Kansas City 23-13 Loss – The Chiefs stopped Jones in his first start, and pulled away for a 10-point win to send the Steelers to 4-3. Jones threw for 209 yards and one score with two picks in the loss. The Steelers pulled to 16-10 before the Chiefs salted the game away in the final 10 minutes.
19 Games over Eight Seasons without Roethlisberger: 10-9