Ben Roethlisberger shouldered responsibility for the shock loss to the Washington Football Team as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ undefeated start to the season ended.
After opening the 2020 NFL campaign 11-0 – the 13th team to achieve the feat in the Super Bowl era – Pittsburgh were upstaged 23-17 by Washington on Monday.
The Steelers (11-1) squandered a 14-0 lead as Washington (5-7) used a 13-3 final quarter to become the first team with a losing record to win a road game against a side with an 11-0 or better record, per Stats Perform.
Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger finished 33-of-53 passing for 305 yards, two touchdowns and one interception as Pittsburgh’s bid for an undefeated season came crashing down in a boil over.
“I need to deliver us into plays that are best suited for situations and things like that. Starts with me. I need to be better,” Roethlisberger said post-game.
“I didn’t play good football. Regardless how much I practice, don’t practice, I need to be better for this team.”
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 7, 2020
After his touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson in the second quarter, Roethlisberger ensured he had a passing TD in all 12 games this season, joining Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes as the only players to have one-plus passing touchdown in every one of their team’s games this term.
Johnson had his fifth straight game of six-plus receptions, becoming the fifth Steelers player in the Super Bowl era to record such a streak.
Inside linebacker Robert Spillane’s sack of Washington quarterback Alex Smith in the first quarter extended Pittsburgh’s streak of registering at least one sack to an NFL record-tying 69 consecutive games – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers established the mark from 1999-2003.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was scathing of his team following last week’s hard-fought victory against the Baltimore Ravens.
But Tomlin appeared in a much better mood, despite Pittsburgh’s defeat at home to Washington.
“Different points along the journey you get a chance to learn about yourself, who you are, what you’re made of, individually and collectively,” Tomlin told reporters.
“And it takes the journey to reveal that. We’re faced with a loss now. We get the opportunity to smile in the face of it.”
“We just got to make routine plays routinely,” Tomlin said. “I say that often, but there’s a lot of truth to it. Got to make routine plays routinely. We’re not making them routinely enough right now, so it’s affecting our fluidity as a collective group.”