|Date of game: 10/26/2014
Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Indianapolis
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - With a legacy-defining streak on the line, Ben Roethlisberger rose to the occasion and played the best football of his career.
Roethlisberger carved up a good Indianapolis defense for 522 yards and six touchdowns and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to win 100 of his first 150 career starts in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 51-34 victory over the Colts on Sunday.
Roethlisberger completed 40-of-49 passes to nine different receivers and matched Boomer Esiason for the fourth-most passing yards in a single game in league history. He finished just 32 yards shy of Norm Van Brocklin's NFL record of 554, which was set back in 1951.
He also set the Steelers franchise mark for passing yards and touchdowns.
Antonio Brown was once again Roethlisberger's favorite target, reeling in 10 passes for 133 yards and a pair of scores. Heath Miller had seven grabs for 112 and a touchdown, Martavis Bryant went for 83 yards and two touchdowns and Markus Wheaton found the end zone for the first time in his career.
"We felt like they couldn't stop us because we were just clicking," Roethlisberger said.
Le'Veon Bell also gained 148 yards from scrimmage for the Steelers (5-3), winners in three of their last four games.
Roethlisberger's career day overshadowed Andrew Luck's second career 400-yard passing game. Luck completed 26-of-45 for 400 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. T.Y. Hilton made six catches for 155 and a touchdown as the Colts (5-3) saw their five-game win streak come to an end.
"Who you are is your last game and this was our last game," Luck said.
Luck completed a 10-yard pass to Ahmad Bradshaw on the game's first play, then went up top to Hilton for 45 yards. The drive stalled at the Pittsburgh 13, however, and Adam Vinatieri kicked a 31-yard field goal.
The rest of the game belonged to the Steelers.
Pittsburgh went 80 yards in nine plays on its first possession, with Wheaton's 18-yard TD making it 7-3.
Then on the first play of the second quarter, Roethlisberger and Bryant hooked up for a five-yard score.
Trailing 14-3, Luck telegraphed a pass and William Gay made him pay, jumping the route and making his first interception of the season. Gay then ran 33 yards untouched to the house for another Pittsburgh touchdown.
Luck manufactured Indy's first touchdown drive less than three minutes after the pick six. He benefited from two defensive penalties before finding Dwayne Allen for a 21-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone.
An offsides penalty on Shaun Suisham's field goal attempt near the middle of the second quarter gave Roethlisberger a fresh set of downs at the 8-yard line. He threw a fade to Brown in the back left corner of the end zone for his third touchdown pass of the first half on the very next play.
Roethlisberger's second touchdown to Brown less than four minutes later made it 35-10.
Luck had rookie Donte Moncrief open near the end zone on the next Colts drive, but the rookie receiver couldn't bring it in. Two plays later, Luck tried for the end zone again and this time was successful, finding Hilton open in the back right corner.
Pittsburgh's next drive stalled just out of field goal range. Roethlisberger's pooch punt was blocked by Jonathan Newsome, and the Colts took over with 35 seconds remaining. Luck made the time count, finding Hilton for a 39-yard gain and scrambling for 13 yards before Vinatieri beat the buzzer with a short field goal.
Pittsburgh got the ball to start the second half and moved down the field just as easily as it did in the first. Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller, who didn't have a defender within 10 yards of him, for a 49-yard pickup to set up another fade to Bryant that made it 42-20.
Late in the third, Bradshaw broke a tackle and scored from 12 yards out, making it a two-possession game once again.
On the first play of the ensuing Pittsburgh drive, Roethlisberger hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for 20yards. Heyward-Bey went to the ground to make the catch, then popped up and lost the ball. Mike Adams picked it up to give the Colts life.
Moncrief's first NFL touchdown -- a 31-yard grab in traffic near the right pylon -- made it a one score game.
Pittsburgh carved up Indy's defense yet again, moving inside the 5-yard line when LeGarrette Blount lost the football fighting for extra yards. The Colts took over with a chance to tie the game, but Luck lost his footing dropping back and landed inside the end zone. From the ground, Luck threw the ball to his left and was whistled for safety. A video review confirmed it, and Pittsburgh went up by 10.
Roethlisberger put the finishing touches on the onslaught with an 11-yard touchdown to Miller with 5:21 left in the game, and Antwon Blake intercepted Luck in the end zone at the other end to seal the game.Game Notes
Pittsburgh gained 639 yards of total offense. The Colts came in giving up
311.1 yards per game ... Roethlisberger joins Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and
Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks in league history to win 100 of their first
150 starts ... Roethlisberger became the first player in league history with
multiple 500-yard passing games ... Hilton has a 45-plus yard reception in
three straight games ... Moncrief had seven catches for 113 yards and a