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Crunching the Numbers: Ben Roethlisberger’s game-winning drives

Big Ben now has 45 total game-winning drives over 15 seasons.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of discussion this week as Ben Roethlisberger passed John Elway after orchestrating his 41st regular-season game-winning drive. Ben also has another four drives in the playoffs. With such an impressive milestone, I decided to take a look at breaking down the numbers in all 45 I’ve Ben’s game-winning drives.

For clarity’s sake, a game-winning drive is any score in the fourth quarter or overtime when a team takes the lead and doesn’t relinquish it from that point on.

25 & 20

Of the scores in which Ben Roethlisberger put the Steelers in the lead for good, 25 where on touchdowns with 20 coming past field goals. Obviously any game where the deficit was three points or more, the score was a touchdown which accounts for 14 of the 25. Ben led the Steelers to a touchdown in games in which the Steelers were tied seven times, while leading TD drives four times when the Steelers were trailing by one or two points.


Of the 45 games, the Steelers won with no time remaining in the fourth quarter seven times. Six times the score was on a game-winning field goal, with the longest make being 53 yards in 2017. The lone touchdown scored as time expired in the fourth quarter was when the Steelers were trailing by six points to the Green Bay Packers in 2009. Six points is also the greatest points total overcome on any of Roethlisberger’s game-winning drives, with the next highest being four points.


The Steelers scored their go-ahead points inside of one minute 20 times in Roethlisberger’s come-from-behind victories. Sixteen of the 20 times the points were scored with 30 seconds or less, and 12 of the game-winning plays occurred inside of 10 seconds.


Five of Ben Roethlisberger‘s game-winning drives occurred in games which went to overtime. Additionally, Roethlisberger scored a game-winning touchdown five times where the team went on to score additional touchdowns in the fourth quarter after the drive which was considered the game-winner.


Nine times Ben Roethlisberger received the ball on go-ahead scoring drives inside of two minutes. The Steelers scored four touchdowns and five field goals on those game-winning drives. Four times the Steelers were tied when getting the ball on said drives, while five times they were trailing by as many as three points.


Ben Rothlisberger has led a game-winning drive at least twice in all 15 seasons of his career. The season in which he has done this the most was his rookie year of 2004 with seven come-from-behind fourth-quarter victories. The second most was five times in 2008, which included the Super Bowl XLIIII win.


The total number of times Ben Roethlisberger has spiked the ball to stop the clock on game-winning drives throughout his career. I found this number to be surprisingly low, meaning the Steelers generally have preserved an adequate number timeouts for effective clock management.

14 & 1

Ben has 14 passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown on his game-winning drives. Of the other 10 touchdowns, nine were rushes by running backs, with the final touchdown being a Jerome Bettis pass in 2004 against the Jets.