By Matthew Marczi
For the fourth straight game, Ben Roethlisberger has thrown at least two touchdowns without an interception. In the process, he broke a trio of team records: total touchdown passes (212; now 215), consecutive passes thrown without an interception in a single season (159; now 189), and consecutive passes thrown without an interception overall (173; now 189).
The first two records were held by Terry Bradshaw and Kordell Stewart, respectively; the third was actually set by Roethlisberger between the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Overall, he has completed 102 of 162 passes for a completion percentage of 63 in this four-game stretch. He has thrown for 1190 yards, 11 touchdowns, and zero interceptions in that span. That equates to a quarterback rating of 107.7 in that stretch.
In the Steelers’ Sunday loss, Roethlisberger completed 23 or 39 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 114.2. But it doesn’t mean anything in a losing effort.
Statistics mean nothing when they don’t result in victories.
Too many personal milestones have been marred by losing efforts lately for Roethlisberger. When will he be able to relish a milestone again?
He will be the first one to tell you that statistics are meaningless, especially if you ask him after a loss. I’m sure somebody asked him about his 213th touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, and I’m sure that’s what he said about it.
Statistics are simply not enough. Roethlisberger is putting up some of the best numbers of his career. He will in all likelihood surpass his career highs in pass attempts and completions next week. He is already at 320 completions on 500 attempts, and his career-highs of 337 and 506 are right around the corner.
He currently has 3724 passing yards, which puts him on pace for 4583 yards. His career high is 4328. Even his career-high 32 touchdown passes could fall if he maintains his current pace over the last four games. He current has 24 touchdowns, and he has been averaging nearly three touchdowns a game over that stretch.
But it won’t mean anything for this 5-8 team, other than maybe a Pro Bowl vote and padded stats for an eventual Hall of Fame induction.
It’s not enough for the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers. This latest incarnation of the team has found too many ways to lose in order for those numbers to make a difference.
Of course, Roethlisberger’s 10 interceptions and six lost fumbles have also been key factors in losses, but one thing this season has made clear—as if 2009 didn’t already accomplish that—is that statistics are simply not enough—never enough—for Roethlisberger, or for this team.