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OL and wide receivers contribute to Ben Roethlisberger's historic day vs. Colts

Many factors led to Ben Roethlisberger having the game of his life on Sunday vs. Indianapolis. JP says it all came together with a lot of help from his teammates.

Justin K. Aller

Where do I begin? How can I write what has already be written, spoken or tweeted when it comes to the performance Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on display at Heinz Field on Sunday vs. the Indianapolis Colts in an improbable 51-34 whipping of the AFC South leaders? The same Colts that shut out Cincinnati a week prior.  The same Colts' defense ranked in the top-10 of NFL units.

What words does can I use to describe Roethlisberger's performance? How does he continue to define the future hall-of-fame quarterback that he is? When he's counted out or told he's not worth the big money like Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, all Roethlisberger does is unleash his inner quarterback beast.

It's enough to frighten Frankenstein, draw a blood-curdling scream from Dracula or make the Wolfman howl in fear. When Ben is on, he's on. And brother let me tell you, he was all that plus a bag of chips on Sunday.

To put his performance in perspective, only three other quarterbacks have had better days than Roethlisberger had Sunday when chucking the pigskin down the field. His 522-yard performance was a Steelers' record and is now tied for the fourth most in a single game. His six (yes six) touchdown passes also are a franchise-best. Of his 49 passes, 40 were caught and I can think of at least three of those that were dropped.

To add a cherry on this sweet sundae of fun, Ben also became the only quarterback in NFL history to record a second career 500-yard day. And to think there are people who want the Steelers to let him play out his contract and go somewhere else.

It's simply laughable.

But this wasn't all Ben on Sunday in the Steelers' win. No, I'm here to say that without the stellar play of his offensive line in protecting Ben so well, he wouldn't have had the time to find receivers all day long the way he did. That entire group up front, anchored by center Maurkice Pouncey, guards David DeCastro and Ramon Foster, along with tackles Kelvin Beachum and backup Mike Adams turned the Colts D into rag dolls, pushing them aside and not allowing them to harm Ben, as he wasn't sacked a single time.

The other part of the equation was the receiving corps getting it done. We all know what Antonio Brown brings to the table. On Sunday, he established his claim to being the best wide receiver in the AFC and perhaps the entire league with a dazzling 10 catch, 133-yard, 2-TD performance. His one-handed 8-yard gem in the back corner of the end zone in the second quarter was simply amazing.

But it was the emergence of a pair of young wideouts to complement Brown that was mouth-watering. Not to mention a much-needed addition of exactly what Ben is looking for. Rookie receiver Martavis Bryant and second- year wideout Markus Wheaton each had breakout games. Bryant was stellar in grabbing five balls, including two red-zone touchdowns while Wheaton added five catches and a score.

In all, the offense had its best game in nearly a decade, possibly longer. They scored on touchdown drives of 80, 76, 87 and 77 yards in succession during the first half. They tacked on 80- and 67-yard touchdown drives in the second half in what were much-needed points, keeping the Colts at bay and out of striking distance.

I've said all along that this team lives and dies by how well its quarterback plays. The added part to the equation is consistent effort from the other 10 men around him. Sunday at Heinz Field we got a taste of what that looks like. Let's see if they can continue like this as the second half of the season unfolds.

John Phillips is a radio personality for 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and a columnist for Behind The Steel Curtain. Check him out on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.