Steelers’ Roethlisberger mother on the future after victory

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PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger is not talking about his future.

At least not right now.

Fresh off a 20-19 comeback victory against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night, Roethlisberger was the mother of any plans to end his 18-year career in Pittsburgh at the end of the 2021 season.

The quarterback quietly tells former teammates and people in the organization that he expects this to be his last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday.

“I have not told it to everyone, no,” Roethlisberger said Sunday night. “Honestly, we’ve just finished this game, I’m exhausted. We’re playing in a few hours, it feels like. That’s my focus. My focus is on Minnesota and what we need to do to get ready. .

“I want to tackle some of it after the season. I’ve always been someone with one game at a time, one season at a time. I want to keep doing that.”

Coach Mike Tomlin said he was not worried that a Roethlisberger farewell tour would distract the Steelers’ locker room through the last five games of the regular season.

“There’s nothing to manage,” Tomlin said. “Ben does not allow that to be a problem. Ben has been pretty solid in his expression that he has focused uniquely on what it is we are doing now.

“He wants to take care of those things on the other side of this journey, and I’m with him on it.”

If Sunday really was his last game against the Ravens at Heinz Field, Roethlisberger wrote a memorable penultimate chapter in his history with the rival organization.

The Steelers’ last drive, which resulted in their first lead of the night thanks to Diontae Johnson’s five-yard touchdown catch and Pat Freiermuth’s two-point conversion grip, was Roethlisberger’s 51st winning drive, breaking his relationship with Tom Brady for third-most in the history of the league.

Roethlisberger completed 21 of 31 attempts on 236 yards and two touchdowns.

It was also his 57th win in games decided by six points or less, drawing with Drew Brees for most of a quarterback since 1950, according to ESPN Stats and Information research.

“I’ve been doing it for a long time,” Roethlisberger said. “I enjoyed this game, and this game specifically, and winning at home in front of our fans, it’s great.”

After a stagnant first half in which the Steelers were trailing 10-3 at the break and the attack possessed the ball for just six minutes and 30 seconds, Roethlisberger, who recovered from the loss with two interceptions to the Cincinnati Bengals a week ago, helped his team until another half occurs. He completed 13 of 18 attempts on 156 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.

Roethlisberger was particularly effective with play-action passes, going 6-of-7 in 117 yards and a touchdown off play-action in the second half after going 1-of-2 in 12 yards in the first half, according to ESPN State and Information Research.

“He plays well all the time, in my opinion,” Johnson said. “He wants to throw picks here and there, but at the end of the day he’s a great quarterback. A Hall of Famer in my eyes and I’m pretty sure in everyone else’s eyes too. But at the end of the day it’s a team match. “So we all played. We knew the final goal, of course, was to get to the top, and we just have to keep going.”

Roethlisberger, who was subsequently given a game ball in the locker room by Tomlin, led two scoring drives in the fourth quarter, each of which ended with touchdown throws to Johnson, who finished with eight receptions on 105 yards and two goals.

With the win, the Steelers (6-5-1) have a 17.4% chance of reaching the playoffs, up from 9.5% before kickoff, according to ESPN’s FPI.

“I just think when we were going to play, Ben came through,” defensive lineman Cam Heyward said. “The wisdom to get the guy offside and reset the downs, the naked game where we got to Diontae, Chase [Claypool] comes through with some great plays. The offensive started to play well. Najee [Harris] began to beat a little downhill. Benny Snell hit downhill.

“There was a ton of guys, but Ben helps orchestrate it.”

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