After big completions to Jerricho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton and Antonio Brown, the Steelers sat inside the Minnesota Vikings' 10-yard line with 20 seconds left in the game. After a spike to stop the clock, he faced second down.
CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz ominously said "the Steelers will throw it into the end zone three times."
It ended up being nowhere near that prediction.
Roethlisberger managed to release one pass intentionally out of the back of the end zone because Steelers left tackle Mike Adams somehow did not realize Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was his to block on the play.
Allen - who ended up with 2.5 sacks on the game - got his third recorded pressure on the play, forcing Roethlisberger to throw it out of the back of the end zone. Allen and the rest of his Vikings defensive front seven buddies crashed hard on Roethlisberger on the next play, forcing another sack and a fumble, preserving the Vikings' 34-27 victory.
The Steelers fell collectively harder than Roethlisberger did on the final play, hitting the lowest start the franchise has seen since 1968.
Not even the Steelers - a team much maligned for their age and lack of explosion on defense - were alive to have seen that.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers Postgame News, Updates and Analysis
- Postgame injury report: Foster left with chest injury
- Twitter reaction to 0-4 start
- Winners and Losers in Steelers loss to Vikings
- Former Steelers defensive end and member of the Steel Curtain L.C. Greenwood has died at age 67
- Steelers Ben Roethlisberger injures right thumb in fourth quarter