Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger sets records, wins NFL passing title and says he will return in ’19
Ben Roethlisberger had a record-setting, milestone and NFL statistical championship-winning game Sunday. But the biggest news he made as an individual was after the game.
Roethlisberger all but assured he would return in 2019 at age 37 for his 16 th NFL season.
“I have another year on my contract,” Roethlisberger said, “and if No. 53 is coming back, I’m coming back.”
No. 53, of course, is arguably Roethlisberger’s best friend among his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, center Maurkice Pouncey.
Named to the Pro Bowl last week, Pouncey is still 29 and has a year remaining on his contract with the Steelers.
If Roethlisberger does play in 2019, it will be as the NFL’s reigning passing-yardage champion.
With a 47-yard, third-quarter pass to James Washington on Sunday, Roethlisberger surpassed 5,000 passing yards for the season. That made him one of only seven quarterbacks to hit that mark in NFL history, Roethlisberger wasn’t done with milestones just yet.
Roethlisberger finished Sunday’s 16-13 win against the Cincinnati Bengals with 287 passing yards. That gave him an NFL-high 5,129 for the season, giving the 15-year veteran his second league passing title and his first outright.
Roethlisberger shared the 2014 NFL passing-yardage lead with Drew Brees (4,952 yards each).
Roethlisberger also extended his franchise record for passing touchdowns in a season, reaching 34 with his third-quarter scoring throw to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Roethlisberger set the touchdowns record with 32 in 2007 and matched it in 2014.
The other quarterbacks to reach 5,000 passing yards in a season are Drew Brees (five times), Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Dan Marino and Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes hit the milestone less than an hour before Roethlisberger did.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.