Roethlisberger, Steelers rout Titans 40-17
PITTSBURGH — The end is creeping up on Ben Roethlisberger. There have been times this season when the 35-year-old Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback looks every bit his age, and plays like it, too.
Just not under the lights. Never under the lights.
For all the heaping amounts of "blah" the NFL's highest-paid offense has provided during a solid if somewhat unspectacular start to the season, something about playing at home at night brings out the best in Roethlisberger.
Fueled by a halftime pep talk from Roethlisberger that stressed enough was enough, a team that's spent much of the season talking a good game but rarely playing a complete one lived up to its own considerable hype. Roethlisberger threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns , three in the second half, as the Steelers ran away from the mistake-prone Tennessee Titans 40-17 on Thursday night.
"Was it our best game? No," Roethlisberger said after Pittsburgh (8-2) won its fifth straight. "Was it better? Yeah."
Much better. Roethlisberger improved to 18-3 in prime-time home games during his career and has 24 touchdowns against just two interceptions in his last seven prime-time starts at Heinz Field.
"Anytime you play with a guy like Ben in a prime-time setting, you know the playmaking ability is going to be up," said wide receiver Antonio Brown, who caught 10 passes for 144 yards and three scores. "You know the splash plays are going to be there and it's going to be a lot of fun."
A matchup that looked like it could go either way after Marcus Mariota hit Rishard Matthews for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half drew the Titans within 16-14, the Steelers responded with touchdowns on three consecutive drives.
The red zone issues that have dogged them for long stretches vanished. Working out of the no-huddle extensively, Roethlisberger picked apart Tennessee over the final two quarters, completing 20 of 23 passes for 185 yards and three scores in the second half to win going away.
"It did feel great today to show what we're capable of and put up 40 points," said Brown. "That was a pretty good feeling."