Brady Tops Roethlisberger Again In Historic Steelers Loss
By Philip Botti
The scoreboard said Pittsburgh Steelers versus New England Patriots, but the more compelling matchup in Week 9 was Tom Brady versus Ben Roethlisberger. Usually both teams are playoff locks, but this season features the Steelers in last place and the Patriots in first in the AFC North and AFC East, respectively. Yet no matter the team records, Brady and Roethlisberger always seem to put up big numbers against each other.
Brady has a total of 16 touchdown passes and averages 298 passing yards in seven career games against Pittsburgh. The Patriots are also 6-1 against the Steelers in those seven starts. Roethlisberger has also played the Patriots seven times in his NFL career, but he can only claim three wins. In those seven games, he has thrown for 14 touchdowns and averaged over 250 passing yards.
Going into Sunday’s game, both quarterbacks have put up similar career numbers against one another but Brady has more found more wins. In this game, the story wasn’t much different.
Brady looked almost flawless throwing for 432 yards and a season-high four touchdowns. Big Ben had an almost-similar line, throwing for exactly 400 yards and four touchdowns. Brady spread the ball around with three separate receivers gaining over 120 yards. On the other hand, Roethlisberger had three separate receivers over 70 yards and threw three touchdowns to WR Jerricho Cotchery.
The difference between came in their ball security. Roethlisberger threw two interceptions and lost one fumble. One of the interceptions came in the fourth quarter, leading to a game-sealing touchdown for New England. Brady finished the game without a turnover.
The difference in play also came from a struggling Steelers’ defense, which allowed the Patriots to score 55 points (the most ever against Pittsburgh) and gave up 670 total yards of offense. Not only did the Patriots pick apart the Steelers’ secondary, but New England also ran the ball at will – surrendering 197 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns.
It’s hard to think if the quarterbacks swapped teams, the outcome would have been any different. Brady and Roethlisberger play basically the same game. People say that a confident Brady knows where he is going to throw the ball before the snap, while bringing down Roethlisberger is akin to tackling a fullback.
The differences in the quarterbacks will always the skill level of the players around them. Pittsburgh is struggling in a number of different aspects this season, so the team will have a hard time winning no matter how good he performs.