Roethlisberger tops 500 passing yards
Without the 19-yard pass that gave Pittsburgh an unlikely 37-36 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Roethlisberger would have suffered the same fate as the man he surpassed: He would have done it in a losing cause.
Five weeks after Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb threw for 450 in a loss at San Diego, Roethlisberger passed for 503 yards.
“We needed all 503,” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger, who threw for three TDs and no interceptions while completing 29 of 46 attempts, broke the Steelers’ single-game record for passing yards on the day he eclipsed the season mark. Tommy Maddox threw for 473 vs. Atlanta in 2002.
Roethlisberger needs 151 yards in the final two games to surpass 4,000 for the season.
Air Rodgers, too
Lost in Roethlisberger’s passing was an air show by Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers set a career-high for attempts with 48, completing 26 for 383 yards and three touchdowns for a 101.3 passer rating.
Pack defense shredded
Green Bay entered the game with the league’s No. 3 pass defense and featured a leading NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate in cornerback Charles Woodson. But the 187 yards per game the Packers had been allowing by way of pass was dwarfed by the 503 the Steelers amassed.
By winning for the first time since Nov. 9 in Denver, the Steelers (7-7) stayed on the fringe of the AFC playoff race. Baltimore (8-6) and Denver (8-6) are the front-runners for the two wild-card spots, and the Steelers are among six teams at 7-7—and they trail three of them.
To have any chance of making the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, the Steelers almost certainly must beat Baltimore on Sunday at Heinz Field and Miami (7-7) on Jan. 3.