If you thought the Steelers upset loss to the Browns wouldn’t cut Big Ben deep, you thought wrong.
Ben Roethlisberger left it all on the field on Sunday night, and it showed.
After falling into an inexplicable 28-0 hole to the Cleveland Browns, Big Ben battled his Steelers back into the game by throwing for over 500 yards and attempting nearly 70 passes. It was all for nothing though, as Pittsburgh still lost and its season came to a stunning end in the Wild Card round.
If his stat line doesn’t speak to how badly Roethlisberger wanted to win, his emotions after the game speak volumes. There was no postgame speech or moment at midfield where he passed the torch to Baker Mayfield. Instead, Roethlisberger left Heinz Field a broken man, with tears streaming down.
Ben Roethlisberger looked like we’ve never seen him before after Browns loss
The first shot of Ben on the sideline after the game made it look like he was crying, but that seemed both presumptuous and like an easy joke.
Move over crying Jordan meme, we've got crying Big Ben now! 😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/h7kbZ1fpEb
— TGGG (@tallGOPgamerguy) January 11, 2021
But it turned out to be true. NBC cameras showed Roethlisberger walking off the field absolutely distraught.
Cleveland came into Pittsburgh without its head coach, down its top offensive lineman, and with seemingly no hope of winning. The Steelers were, at one point, undefeated and barreling towards a 16-0 season.
But for all the trolling that will surely come to a team that blew not only a chance at an undefeated season but a cakewalk Wild Card matchup (at home, no less), it’s impossible to make fun of Big Ben for crying. These weren’t tears of a whiner upset that he didn’t get his way, this was a competitor who left every ounce of himself on the field and it still wasn’t good enough to win.
There will be questions about what the future holds for Roethlisberger. He’s going to be 39-years old when next season kicks off and many were already wondering if these were his last days in Pittsburgh. Were those the tears of someone who knew this was the last time he’d be walking off the field as a Steeler or were those the tears of someone who knew this was the last time he’d be walking off the field forever?
It will certainly be an offseason of big questions in Pittsburgh, but it’s safe to say what we saw from the Steelers on Sunday was unlike anything we’d ever seen from the team before in more than one way.